-- approximate times given are marked from the beginning of the film not the video tape --
0:01:49 Ebola River, Central Africa 1976
2 doctors for World Health Organization visit a small village hit by the plague. Find a small village boy and ask where the WHO doctor is, and boy brings them to a pile of dead bodies and points to the dead doctor.
0:04:48 Spitting Up Blood
Doctors hear a woman moaning and go into a small hut and find her on her death bed. Pleading in a foreign language with the doctors to save her life. Grabs one doctor’s hand (later to be identified as Dr. Don Francis), spits blood on his hand and doctor is noticeably frightened.
0:05:51 Seeking Impossible Answers
Village boy asks the doctor (Francis) out of frustration and anger “Why? You Doctor, why you don’t know?” Doctor unable to answer.
0:06:07 Burning of Bodies
The doctors are taking pile of bodies and throwing them one by one into a raging fire. Screen reads information about the Ebola Fever breakout and how it was a sign for what was to come with the AIDS epidemic.
0:07:16 Rigshopitalet, Copenhagen, 1977 1st case
Woman lying in hospital bed and doctors are discussing that she is dying from a type of pneumonia that is only a result of other major sicknesses, and yet she had nothing else from what they can tell.
0:07:57 Claude-Bernard Hospital, Paris, 1978
Man in hospital bed with many doctors surrounding him, discussing why his brain is rotting due to Taxoplasmosis: a cat’s disease.
0:08:30 Washington, D.C. 1980, Democratic Platform Committee Meeting
Introduce Bill Kraus, speaking on behalf of gay rights. Introduces an amendment that is simply asking for the homosexual community to be treated as humans. There is little to no response to this comment, followed by little applause.
0:09:23 News Flash
0:09:37 UCLA Medical Center, LA
Doctor is asking a resident what the T-cell count is on one of his patients and finds out that the patient doesn’t have any. Thinking this is impossible, he checks and sees it is true; his immune system has totally deteriorated.
0:10:19 Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, May 1981
Dr. Guinan enters Jim’s office asking him to take a look at an important report. Jim at first shoves it aside but Mary forces him to look at it, explaining to him that there has been a weird breakout of an epidemic among gay men and would like the report to be published in the next medical journal. Jim crosses off the word “homosexual,” not wanting the report to get “killed”
0:11:31 Dr. Francis in Car Reading Report on Outbreak
0:11:39 CDC, Atlanta
Dr. Francis officially meets everyone. Already knows Dr. Mary Guinan but meets Dr. Harold Jaffy, sexually transmitted diseases, Dr. Bill Darrow, psychology, Dr. Dale Lawrence, and then Jim enters.
0:13:07 Jim’s Office
Jim introduces Francis and explains that he’s going to help on this new epidemic because he’s been working on the Hepatitis B virus in gay men, as well as the Ebola Virus a few years past. They present what they think they’re working with, and Jim asks Don to go with him to NYC to see one of the patients with the symptoms.
0:14:03 Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NYC
Gay man patient is talking to Jim and Don about how his own doctor had to look up the disease he had. Has spots all over his face and arms. Looks at the rubix cube he’s holding and asks, “Why do they make things that cannot be solved?”
0:15:00 NYU Medical Center
Guinan walks in while a patient is getting dressed. Talks to him briefly and finds out he is a gay flight attendant with a strong foreign accent. When asked to approximate how many partners he has in a year he scoffs and says 250, but it is a “conservative” number.
0:16:53 San Francisco, July 1981 80 US cases/26 Deaths
Bill Kraus, Jaffy and a woman(Selma Dritz) are walking and discussing the bath houses. Kraus is adamant about not wanting the bath houses to reflect the gay community.
0:18:02 Papazzano’s Bath House
Selma and Harold walk into bath house wanting to inspect the premises. Harold is awed at the activity of the men in such a place.
0:19:02 Eddie Papazzano
Eddie walks in, refusing to let the two inspect, based on privacy for his customers. Selma sweet talks him, and he gives in, saying “Only for you Selma.” Selma and Harold find “poppers” (i.e.the drug Rush).
0:19:49 Late night at CDC
Francis and Jim both burning the midnight oil. Tests came in finding nothing to be correlated between Rush and the unknown disease.
0:20:07 San Francisco, September, 1981, Bill Kraus’s home
Marc and Bill arguing about the lack of press on the matter, as well as the government’s ignorance toward the funding of research and medicine. Kiko, Bill’s lover, sits angrily on the side.
0:20:40 Kiko and Kraus
Argument between the two lovers. Kiko cannot decide what he wants from Bill.
0:22:11 CDC Atlanta, September 1981
Meeting discussing “what do we think, what do we know, what can we prove?” Mary suggests that it is in the semen and therefore women could become victims too. Think it looks like a STD but can’t prove. Facts show that in 7 months the numbers have jumped from 5 cases to 150 cases with a mortality rate of 40%, possibly reaching a high of 100%. Jim tells Don they want him to start doing research but warns them that the CDC is given no money.
0:24:35 The Lab
“Hopeless I can handle but this is ridiculous”: Francis, when he sees the lab.
0:25:15 San Francisco, Halloween Gay Parade 1981, 160 US cases/88 Deaths
“I am Gay and I love you” : Man gets out of limousine in a dodgy neighborhood. Sees the poster for Bobbi Campbell, the “Gay Cancer” poster boy. Inside the apartment building, apprehensive and edgy. Meets Bobbi Campbell who promises to forget that he saw this man here, a choreographer on Broadway and obviously private about his sexuality.
0:27:32 Choreographer enters and meets Dr. Mary Guinan
They talk briefly, he mentions how he’s not worried about her knowing all of his secrets, regarding the questionnaire, but he’s not sure he wants to know.
0:28:58 Grim Reaper
Choreographer looks out window at Halloween Parade and sees the Grim Reaper, looking right up at him it seems, as if death lingers closely. “The party’s over.”
0:30:00 Flashback of Ebola River
Francis zoned out at desk and remembering throwing the dead bodies into the fire
0:30:30 Butcher’s Bill
Jim and Don are talking; Don is obviously overtired and agitated. Someone drops some samples, and Don goes crazy and yells at the man, explaining that the samples have things in them that could kill him.
0:31:40 Claude-Bernard Hospital, Paris
Doctor is taking students around on rounds discussing the many patients dying from these random diseases.
0:32:13 Administrative BullS%*#
Doctor and Hospital Administrator talking about how the hospital has become known as a place where “those people go” thinking the conversation to be over, the administrator brushes off the doctor who in turn quits and walks out
0:33:24 Office of Congressman Phillip Burton, D.C
Bill Kraus telling Burton about what the Gay community wants in return for lending their support towards his campaign. Kraus introduces acronym GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency) Burton points out that with “this administration, anything with the word ‘gay’ on it is sure to be denied.”
0:34:21 News Clips
Reagan not increasing any department except for the Defense Department. Less money for public health.
0:35:05 More Money
Francis asking for Electron Microscope, Jim informs him that they will receive nothing. A secretary comes in and tells the men that they received a call saying there has been an outbreak among Haitian refugees in Miami, none are gay. Jim also shares that there were 11 newborn babies in the Bronx with it.
0:36:27 TV News Clips
News talking about a “rare and deadly, gay man’s disease” and a TV evangelist condemning the gay population.
Dr. Kaffe walks in and finds Dr. Francis zoned out, trying to figure out somehow to make sense of the disease. Kaffe plays PAC-Man and it dawns on Francis that “something’s gobbling up the t-cells.”
0:39:13 Harvard School of Public Health, Boston
Francis talking to Max, his old teacher, and associating Feline Leukemia and Hepatitis B to this unknown disease. Decide it could be a retro-virus, in which case they need the help of Dr. Robert Gallo, immediately get the idea that he’s pompous.
0:41:09 Tennis Court
Gallo and an associate are playing tennis and Gallo loses. His opponent is visibly worried and continues to apologize. Gallo says “never be sorry for winning, only be sorry when you don’t get that promotion next week.”
0:41:42 National Institute of Health, Bethesda, March 1982
Max and Francis call Gallo telling him of the possible link between the retro-virus that he discovered, and “GRID” Gallo asks them to send him what they have so far and he’ll take a look at it all.
0:42:28 First Lead
Darrow runs into Jim’s office saying he got a call from LA saying that there is a patient there that can help prove that this disease is sexually transmitted. Jim’s only concern is that the CDC can’t front the money for the airplane ticket. Darrow rushes out calling out that he’ll pay for it.
0:42:54 V.A. Hospital, LA, March 1982
Darrow interviewing the patient who is delusional and has skin lesions on his face and arms. patient brings out a list of 4 people all of whom have died from the disease and all of whom he has slept with. He looks out the window. and the view is of a vast graveyard.
0:46:22 Limo Driver
Darrow is showing the Limo driver a list of names of people who have died of GRID and asking if he knows anyone on the list and if he’s slept with any of the people.
0:46:36 A Dying Man’s Last Wish
Darrow following a lead and at a patient’s home who is obviously dying of GRID. Patient throws him out of his house not wanting to talk about it, and his friend who is taking care of him, walks Darrow out and says that he thinks his friend got GRID from a flight attendant with a French Canadian accent.
0:47:13 On the Streets
Darrow is randomly talking to a man about whether he knows of a flight attendant with a French Canadian accent. At first man says no, but realizing the info could help someone else out, he offers some detailed information.
Darrow and a man who has slept with the flight attendant are talking. Man explaining that he got Hepatitis B from him so he must have also gotten “this thing” from him too. Trying to give details about this man, all he can offer is that everyone called him “Dougie” as a nickname.
0:48:27 The Connection
Darrow back in Atlanta at the CDC and runs into Mary Guinan. Talking about how he has to go to NYC to randomly look for a sexually promiscuous flight attendant. Mary stops Darrow and realizes the connection.
0:48:45 Doctor’s Office, NYC
Darrow and flight attendant talk about his sexual history. Darrow tells him that he is a strong candidate for having given the disease to so many people, he immediately gets upset, saying that it’s the CDC’s fault if the disease is spreading not his own. Flight attendant gets angry and when Darrow asks for names and addresses of all his sexual partners, he laughs saying the names add up to 100’s of 1000’s and he cannot possibly help him. Darrow, visibly upset pleads with him and finally the steward gives Darrow a ½ hr window to call him later that night so he can look for names.
0:51:08 Train Station
Darrow fighting for a phone. Gets in touch with the flight attendant and he has 73 names for him.
0:52:01 “Patient Zero”
Darrow explains to his colleagues at the CDC about the “Patient Zero” concept and how he can be the direct proof that GRID is a sexually transmitted disease. First real proof and first real progress made. Francis makes suggestion that they close the Bath Houses; Jim points out they don’t have the power and the federal government doesn’t have the desire to get that involved; this is the first sign of red tape.
0:53:33 CDC, Atlanta, Press Conference June 1982
Jim announcing to public what the CDC thinks they have found but dances around the issue and Francis is furious.
0:54:17 If a House is Burning…You put it out
Francis angry with Jim, thinking of him as a “Bureaucratic Whore.” Jim doesn’t want to put the nation into a frenzy nor does he want to offend any of the higher powers, being that they are the resource for whatever little funding the CDC can receive.
0:55:11 San Francisco, June 1982, 405 US cases/272 Deaths
Kiko comes home to a heated argument between all of the city’s major officials involved in the Gay Community. Kiko goes upstairs, noticeable tension between him and Kraus.
0:55:52 Selma Takes Control
Asking the Director of Public Health in the city to shut the bath houses down, and he refuses to commit political suicide. He says that if the bath houses are to be closed it must be done with the help and support of the Gay Community; they are a symbol of Sexual Freedom.
0:56:56 Kraus and Kiko
Kiko is upstairs packing his stuff and informs Bill that he has met an architect and is moving out. But it would “hurt something awful” if Bill wasn’t Kiko’s friend.
0:57:59 NYC, Choreographer
Mary Guinan walks into rehearsals, and the choreographer and she talk aside. He tells her he thinks he has “this thing” and is scared to death. He says he knows how little funding they have and how much support they need, and he hands her a check.
1:00:18 Death is on his Shoulder
Choreographer looks on the stage at his dancers and a group of dancers in angelic white are lifting up a single body in all black. He starts to cry.
1:01:24 Gay Rally
Kraus and Francis walk through the crowd, get inside, and there is a huge gay population screaming and creating quite a commotion. Talking about whether or not to close the bath houses. Eddie Papazzano and Francis talk aside, and Francis asks if he cares that his customers are playing Russian Roulette. Papazzano says he and Don are in this thing for the same reason, money. He makes it when they walk in, and the doctors make it when they walk out.
1:02:25 Press Conference Starts
Bill Kraus gives Francis the floor. When Don mentions the bath houses closing, the crowd goes into an uproar.
1:04:40 Director of Public Health Walks in
Dr. Silverman asks for a spokesman from the community to speak, chooses Bobbi Campbell. He says that the bath houses are a symbol of sexual freedom, and he says that he would rather die as a human being rather than to continue living as a freak. Take a vote and practically unanimous that the bath houses remain open.
Bill asks Selma aside. “I don’t understand.” Selma says, “they’re human and they’re scared.”
Francis alone in office, remembering the Ebola River and the young villager asking WHY???
Doctors are in surgery with a patient; a lymphnode is removed and given to an awaiting doctor to get research done.
1:08:17 The Chemical Institute in Paris
Doctor and his sample are tested. Thinks it’s amazing that the Americans can think that a disease has a “sexual preference.”
1:09:44 Dr. Gallo’s Proclamation of Battle
Asking why when they discovered their retrovirus, if it was found in two gay men, then why didn’t they find this years before? Realizes the importance of this study and wants all of his #1 men put on it.
Running tests on the sample but cannot get the numbers to add up to indicate a retro virus. Think they have to start from scratch.
Guinan and Francis talking. Find out the choreographer died of an “unknown cause.” Jaffy reads to them the Medical Journal about Gallo’s proclamation of involvement and dedication to find a cure to this disease by the end of the year.
1:12:18 IV Drug User
Dale Lawrence tells Francis how an IV drug user in NY died of it, and it was a woman. Francis realizes “it’s in the blood.”
1:12:26 University of Colorado, Medical Center, Denver
Older man dying from the disease, his wife is by his side, and Lawrence is asking her questions. He is a hemophiliac and has received many blood transfusions.
1:14:03 Meeting in Jim’s Office
Thinking that the blood must be contaminated. They “think” but they can’t “prove”. Francis tells them how the Hepatitis B test was found to be 88% successful in detecting the virus. Jim tells him that no way would blood banks throughout the nation spend billions of dollars on re-working their tests for something that is only 88% accurate. Jaffy offers idea that they need to start looking at blood transfusions and look at the donors.
1:16:08 Bellevue Hospital, New York
Patient who had at least 12 donors for his transfusion and is now sick with the virus. The NY Blood Center has the names of the donors.
1:16:30 NY Blood Center
Dale Lawrence and the Director of the Center are arguing. Tthe Director is refusing to release the names of the donors. He doubts if the “alleged disease even exists in the first place.” Dale feels defeated.
1:17:16 University of California, San Francisco Medical Center
Harold Jaffy talking to a doctor (Angelica Huston) about a new -born baby with the virus. Zero t-cell count and received a transfusion with 13 donors from Irwin Memorial Hospital. The list of donors is sealed, and they would need a “till-of –the-hun” to crack that seal. Selma Dritz!
1:18:37 Selma Pulls Through
Selma gets the list but one of the donors who died from the virus is a prominent, wealthy lawyer whose family is of high social status. He swore to his grave that he was not gay.
1:19:21 Selma’s Determination
Selma and Harold visit the brother of the wealthy lawyer. Brother says his brother was not gay, but then admits to them he knew he was but he was not given any details. Asks to not have to betray his brother now. Gives them his brother’s black book, find an odd entry and call the number. It’s a doctor’s office.
1:21:22 “Only for you Selma”
Selma and Harold at the “secret Doctor” whom the lawyer would go to for his secret ailments related to GRID. First proof that it is in the blood.
1:21:54 CDC Atlanta, January 4, 1983
Meeting between the CDC and all those involved in the blood field. Jim, leading discussion, discusses the options and the findings of the CDC. A man says the disease is no longer a Gay disease and presents the motion of changing the name from GRID to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Motion passed. The blood banks refuses to spend money on changing their testing procedures because of expense. Francis explodes asking “how many people have to die before they start to pay attention?”
1:26:01 News Clips
1:26:34 Jim vs. Don
Don trying to talk to Jim, and he ignores him. Tells Don the CDC has no money especially due to the outburst that Francis had at the meeting, he damaged the credibility of the CDC.
1:27:53 Selma Pulls Through
Selma gets the name of prominent members of the community who give a lot of money and who are also suffering from AIDS.
1:28:32 Harold Breaks the News
Jaffy goes to the house of a wealthy couple. The woman is sick and can only attribute it to “complications during surgery.” She has no idea that she has AIDS. She received blood from 20 different donors during surgery ,and at least one of her donors has since died from AIDS. Shocked, the couple breakdown. Harold says the CDC has been trying to get the blood banks to change their testing procedures, and they still refuse.
1:32:00 Blood Bank Associates Meeting
Irwin Memorial announces they will start using the HepB test to screen for donors who might have AIDS. Motion made that blood banks across the US be implemented, motion is denied.
1:33:47 Kraus’s Apartment
Bill and friend Marc talking about how Bill never gets sleep. Don calls asking Bill who he knows in D.C that can get him an electron microscope.
Cells are still dying. Realize they need to continually feed the cells. A success, and they find a retro-virus. Is it Gallo’s ,or is it a new one?
Find that the retro-virus they found is different from Gallo’s.
Doctors call Gallo and tell him of their discovery. Gallo annoyed but pretends to cooperate and asks them to send them everything they found.
French doctors are skeptical of Gallo’s apparent cooperation. Agree to send him their information as well as ask for samples from Francis.
1:38:38 CDC, Atlanta
Francis announcing with cheers and hoots that the French think they have found the AIDS virus. Wants to send them blind samples to be tested for accuracy.
1:39:08 Exercise Room
Kraus is on the rowing machine and finds a skin lesion on his ankle. Knows he has AIDS.
1:39:41 Doctor’s Office
Bill waiting to hear from friend Marc whether or not the test comes out positive. He does have the disease, and his friend gets furious telling him he doesn’t want Bill to die.
1:41:16 2640 US Cases/1092 Deaths
Gallo is having trouble keeping the cells alive too. Gets a phone call from Max telling him that Francis has sent samples to the French. Gallo thinks it’s a competition and says the French amuse him.
1:43:53 Butcher’s Bill
Meeting with the other doctors, and Jim announces to Don that Gallo refuses to help him ever due to his siding with the French. Pulls their research to a sudden halt.
1:45:06 Francis’s Hotel
Gallo calls Francis late at night and threatens him.
1:46:20 Party at Kraus’s house
Kiko walks in upset, having just found out about Bill having AIDS. Bill and Kiko embrace and Kiko cries.
1:47:22 News Clips
AIDS is the country’s #1 health priority
1:48:14 Atlanta, March 1984
Francis and Jim talk, and Jim tells Don that Gallo is claiming he has found the disease and has a test for it and wants to take all the credit for it. The French are going to sue which will put the research and the whole process again at a halt because of legal red tape.
1:48:14 Gallo’s Acceptance Speech
Francis and Gallo talk after the speech and are arguing about who gets the credit for discovering the virus. Francis is begging Gallo not to go through with this all but to sit down with the French and come to an agreement. Thinks that it is everyone against the virus NOT the Americans versus the French. Gallo agrees to meet with his peers when he is next in Paris.
1:51:12 Paris April 4, 1984 4123 US Cases/2937 Deaths
Gallo is late to the meeting with the French and then purposely belittles Francis in front of the other doctors, asking him to leave the room while they discuss the matter at hand.
1:52:53 Alone in the Hallway
Francis sits alone in the white, barren hallway and is finally let into the room. They have all agreed to share the credit and all publish their own reports.
1:53:50 Press Conference with Secretary of Health and Human Services
Margaret Heckler announces that Dr. Robert Gallo has finally found the AIDS virus and has found a test to be used to start detecting it in the blood system. Everyone at the CDC is watching the pathetic announcement on TV.
1:55:04 Jim’s Office
Francis comes into his office and asks for a transferral to San Francisco now that stage one of the process is over. He also shows Jim his proposal for stage two, a conservative demand as he views it, but Jim laughs in his face.
1:56:29 TV Clips
Reagan is going through the re-election process again. Roger Gail Lyon in front of the US Senate, saying he doesn’t want his grave stone to read that he “died of red tape”.
Francis alone in his bed, cannot shake the memory of the woman grabbing his arm.
Jim and Francis have another confrontation. Don’s transferal has been pushed through to San Francisco with the help of Jim. Don’s proposal was denied, and diplomatically they suggest that he “look busy but do nothing.”
2:00:52 Don Leaves the CDC
Official goodbye with everyone. Even Jim gives him a gag gift to calm the waters between them.
“This time Gallo has gone too far.” The French doctors are going through with their law suit against Gallo for liability and fraud.
2:02:55 NYC, February 1985 8408 US Cases/6805 Deaths
The French announce that Gallo stole their retro virus and took all the credit.
2:04:03 Candlelight Parade, San Francisco, November 1985
Kiko and Bill are walking and Bill collapses. Kiko calls an ambulance.
Francis walks in and sees Selma, the two embrace somberly. See Bill who starts to talk gibberish. Kiko and Selma leave Don and Bill alone.
2:06:26 Bill and Don Bonding
Bill, out of desperation, grabs Don’s hand. This stimulates a flashback to the Ebola River and the woman. Instead of pulling away this time, he takes Bill’s hand and starts to comfort him. He changes at this moment; he is a part of the disease, not an outsider anymore.
2:09:07 Kiko Is All Alone
Francis leaves the hospital, leaving Kiko alone to wait for his lover to die.
2:09:38 Walking Home
Francis walks alone on the street, seeing an old poster of Bobbi Campbell and reflects a bit. Text comes on the screen telling us a bit about Francis and what happened to him later on.
2:12:05 Elton John’s Song
Clips from real life, Candlelight walks, celebrities who have either died from the disease or who vocally and actively support the AIDS plight. Text follows these clips telling us about Dr. Gallo among other main characters portrayed in the movie
2:17:15 Screen Text
Text comes on to tell us more about the search for the cure and the millions of people who have died from this disease.
Copyright (c) 1999 by Victoria Douglass Hatch, Undergraduate at Lehigh University.
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