The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ON TV
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TRANSCRIPTS
Return to Transcripts main page

LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Bug Chasers

Aired June 6, 2003 - 20:41   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Believe it or not, there are actually some people who want to get the AIDS virus. The name on the street for some of these people is bug chasers. And the virus itself, they call the gift. That's also the name of a new film that's getting a lot of attention. It's about a subject we are sure you may find uncomfortable, even shocking. But it's also a subject we should not ignore.
Here's a short clip from "The Gift."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE GIFT")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have one friend who is always, like: I want to be like all you guys. You all have it and I don't. What's wrong with me? I want to go out there and get it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to be in the in-crowd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It definitely is not a gift to get it. I would definitely be gifted if I didn't have it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no desire to give this gift to anybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some people have even said, oh, I'll give you your death.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Joining me is the filmmaker who created, directed "The Gift," Louise Hogarth.

Thanks for being with us.

This is incredibly disturbing and probably a lot of people don't know about it. Why do some people -- and we stress this is a fringe group of people in the United States -- why do they want HIV?

LOUISE HOGARTH, DIRECTOR, "THE GIFT": It's a multileveled reason.

A lot of people, it's survivor guilt. They've lost hundreds of friends. They've lost two or three lovers. They feel guilty that they're still alive. Other people just want to get the worry over. They don't want to worry about it.

COOPER: Because they think they're going to get it anyway; they might as well just get it over with?

HOGARTH: Yes. And other people want to belong to a community.

COOPER: They think there's this community out there and they, in order to belong...

HOGARTH: There is a large barebacking community out there. They're not bug chasers or gift-givers, but they are barebackers. And that's really why I made the film, to address the misperceptions that are in the community now that HIV is a livable illness.

COOPER: In the film, you follow a number of people. One of them -- I haven't seen the film yet, but I've read a lot about it. One of them is a young man named Ken. I want to show you what happens. This is his reaction when he finds out he has in fact gotten HIV. Let's show this.

HOGARTH: Yes. This is a common reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE GIFT")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was expecting a positive reading. And it was. I was -- the feeling? I'd say I was relieved that I finally got it and now I don't have to worry about, do I have it, do I have it, do I have it? And if so, do I need to be careful? Not anymore. Happy. Relieved. I can breathe again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: I mean, you look at this and you say, is this kid just an idiot? Is he just an idiot? But there are -- can you explain it?

HOGARTH: He's not an idiot. He has a lot of misperceptions about what it means to get infected.

COOPER: Where do you think he gets those perceptions? Do you think there's something in the AIDS education, as it has been thus far, that is sending out the wrong message?

HOGARTH: Definitely. That's totally the problem. And that's why I've made this documentary.

COOPER: And what is the wrong message? What is the message that's being sent out, in your opinion?

HOGARTH: That HIV is a livable illness, that it's not a problem to get it, that we've made it so positive to be positive.

COOPER: In ads, in television, and the like?

HOGARTH: Right.

COOPER: I want to show you another clip from this film. This is another young man, Doug, who had a different reaction when he found out he was HIV positive. Let's play it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE GIFT")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought I was just going to have a lot of promiscuous, unsafe sex. I didn't know I was going to change so fast. No one told me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: No one told him? I mean, the message is out there.

HOGARTH: No. Doug never had a cigarette, because he knew there was no cure for lung cancer. But he knew there was a pill for HIV.

COOPER: So he thought he could just take some pills and that it was no big deal having HIV?

HOGARTH: Exactly.

COOPER: What was the most important thing that came out of this film for you, the message that you are trying to bring to an audience?

HOGARTH: I'm hoping this will be a catalyst to start reigniting prevention and to start telling the truth about what it means to be infected.

We developed strategies for what we thought was a short-term crisis. They were good. They worked then. But now they've become obsolete. They have backfired on us. We need to do a new type of prevention.

COOPER: So, while this is just a fringe group who you're focusing on in this film...

HOGARTH: Absolutely.

COOPER: ... that is the larger story, that you think prevention needs to be recalibrated.

HOGARTH: On Monday, they released new figures in Seattle for the infection rate. It's the most dramatic increase they've seen since the beginning of the epidemic.

COOPER: All right, Louise Hogarth, we really appreciate you joining us.

HOGARTH: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: And the film is getting a lot of attention. And we wish you the best with it. Thank you.

HOGARTH: Thank you.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com




CNN US
On CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNN AvantGo CNNtext Ad info Preferences
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.