The Gift | Chicago Reader

The Gift

62 minutes

An important documentary on an underreported subject: the subculture of gay men who purposely try to contract HIV or to infect others, and the psychology that motivates them. Some say they're "weary" of condoms, some feel the "virus has become eroticized," some seek camaraderie among the seropositive. Director Louise Hogarth shows us Web sites promoting "conversion parties" and a dungeon where such orgies take place but devotes more attention to slick video effects than to illustrating the horrors that overtake the infected when the new drugs stop working. Neither does she call "bug chasing" by its proper name—mass suicide.

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