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“Dallas Buyers Club” Highlights AIDS Awareness

Rarely does a commercial movie spur serious discussion and awareness of a life-threatening illness. However, the new Matthew McConaughy/Jennifer Garner movie, “Dallas Buyers Club,” does just that. As the World AIDS Awareness Day approaches (December 1, 2013), many believe this killer disease should fuel discussion about healthy lifestyles and avoidance of HIV.

According to AIDS.gov, there are multiple Aids Awareness Day commemorations around the world. From National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in February through World AIDS Day in December, there are about 10 additional AIDS Awareness Days during the year.

The new movie brings the disease to the forefront once again. McConaughy takes viewers through the full gamut of emotions most people face upon learning they are HIV positive. Initially angry and incredulous, our hero decides to fight with every part of his being. Since the setting is 1985, before most contemporary–and, often effective–AIDS drugs were available, McConaughy travels to Mexico to obtain experimental treatment.

Although originally a lifetime homophobic person, he begins to better understand the hopelessness faced by AIDS victims, regardless of their sexual orientation, and attempts to help others fight the disease. Although the mainstream press often no longer considers HIV and AIDS to be front page material, this movie should once again highlight the fight against this horrendous disease.

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