Los Angeles Times – January 11, 2004 – “When ‘The Gift’ is HIV” A documentary enters a realm where men seek infection. It’s not a picture of AIDS that lands quietly.
NY Times – “Critics Choice!” – June 6, 2003 – “Forsaking Health to Join the H.I.V. Club” – Far and away the most important selection in NewFest 2003.
Chicago Sun Times – review by Richard Roeper – April 22, 2003 – “What makes bug chasers, gift givers do such a thing? It’s a story so shocking you want to believe it’s a hoax–a sick joke. But, somewhere between urban legend and ghastly trend, there really are some gay men who want to be infected with HIV, and others who will gladly help them try to make that wish come true.”
NY1 News -“Bug Chasers” – Part One+Two June 16, 2003 – “Some gay men are deliberately seeking the virus that causes AIDS. It’s an underground movement that’s found a home on the Internet. NY1’s health reporter, Itay Hod, has been investigating the so-called bug chasing trend, and in part one of his special series, he explains what it’s all about.”
Bay Area Reporter – June 19, 2003 – by Matthew S. Bajko -“Considering the case of the ‘bug-chasers’ Louise Hogarth’s documentary ‘The Gift’ screens at fest .”
Savage Love – by Dan Savage”…folks out there, gay and straight, who want the whole bug-chasing subject to go away. (Straights want it to go away because it’s not about them; gays want it to go away because it makes us look bad.) Sorry, gang: This story isn’t going anywhere.”
The Immoral Minority by Eli Sanders -“Thanks to the behavior of a small minority of gay men in the Seattle area, syphilis is at extremely high levels, HIV infections are spiking, cases of gonorrhea have doubled, and cases of chlamydia have tripled. What is the gay men’s health movement doing about the problem?”
Bay Area Reporter – Why we’re running ads again -“Nobody was asking us for the real deal, the truth in advertising facts between the scare campaigns of the 1980s and the ubiquitous “climb every mountain” drug ads of the late 1990s. Nobody was asking us, but we were ready to tell.”
San Francisco Chronicle – Sunday, June 8, 2003 – Worth a Look at the Lesbian & Gay Festival – “These choices are promising among 271 films, videos.”
HX Magazine – Bare Facts – June 6 , 2003 “Documentary The Gift explores those who seek out HIV infection or purposefully infect others.”
Indiewire – June 3, 2003 “From bug chasers to quietly devastating dramas, NewFest offers varied program in 15th year.”
Baltimore City Paper – April 22, 2003 – “The Gift Takes A Hard Look at Contemporary Gay Culture, Where HIV is Sexy and Prevention is Passé”
Seattle Post Intelligencer – Saturday, May 24, 2003 – “Filmmaker reveals a controversial ‘gift’ in gay community.”
Komo TV Seattle, ABC May 24, 2003 – “I didn’t know I was gonna change so fast. No one told me.” No one told him, said 21-year-old Doug Hitzel, that HIV will eventually kill him.It’s something he wishes he did know before he got intentionally infected with HIV.”
Sunday Independent – March 16, 2003 – “Young, gay and gifted with a hideous virus.” Film-maker exposes a world where men want to be HIV positive.”
Cape Argus – March 17, 2003 – “A gift you don’ want to recieve.” One of the reasons why worldwide HIV/AIDS statistics are not decreasing is “because there are no messages being sent ou that people are dying.”
South African Film Update – March 7, 2003 – “According to The Gift, Bug Chasers look to contract HIV for a number of reasons. Some have or have lost HIV-positive partners, and their sense of survivor guilt may be coupled with their longing to join their partners.”
Gay.com UK Feb. 10, 2003 – Bug-chasing documentary premieres at Berlin Film Festival
AIDS Map.com Robert Fieldhouse February 5, 2003 – “It depicts the life of (among others) Doug Hitzel, a 21 year-old gay man who intentionally sought to become HIV-positive. Hitzel who is also featured in a high-profile piece in Rolling Stone magazine (Bug Chasers: The men who long to be HIV-positive).”
Savage Love – Dan Savage “…a documentary called “The Gift” that was packing ’em in at the Berlin Film Festival. Louise Hogarth’s film features interviews with “a number of gay men who have deliberately sought out the virus.” Should be a big hit on the U.S. film-fest circuit this summer.”
IMRU Radio – Feb. 10, 2003 – Listen to what the director, Louise Hogarth, has to say about her film in an interview with IMRU radio.
Bay Area Reporter – January 30, 2003 – by Matthew S. Bajko – “As controversy continues to swirl around a Rolling Stone article about “bug chasers” – (gay men who deliberately get infected with HIV) new documentary film about the phenomenon premiering at a Berlin film festival next month is already creating buzz.”
Frontiers Magazine – Jan. 28, 2003 – “It was over a year ago that documentary filmmaker Louise Hogarth first contacted me about her latest project. She had tracked me down after reading a Frontiers article I had written lamenting the rising rates of seroconversion among young gay men.”
Annoy.com review by Clinton Fein – Jan. 31, 2003 – “A new documentary, ‘The Gift,’ by filmlaker Louise Hogarth is a timely investigation into a fascinating phenomenon – the eroticization of deliberate HIV infection…”
RainbowGuide.com – (Berlin Reuters) “Controversial AIDS Film Debuts at Berlin Film Festival – A controversial film about gay men who deliberately contract ‘the gift’ of the HIV virus or recklessly risk doing so debuted at the Berlin Film Festival on Tuesday.”
Positive Nation review by Larwrence Gibson – Shown earlier in the year at the Berlin Film Festival, this controversial American documentary investigates the oh-so-chilling facts about gay men who actively pursue unprotected sex for the purpose of seroconversion.
Response to Positive Nation article by James Bloor Sir; My name is James Bloor, and I am the ‘screwed-up HIV-positive guy’ .who is mentioned in your recently reviewed preview of the documentary, ‘The Gift’ – slated to appear at your London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
Easyboyfriend.com (Berlin) “A film about so-called ‘bug chasers’had its premiere Tuesday at the Berlin International Film Festival. The motion picture, completed only days before its screening, features interviews with gay men mainly from San Francisco, who purposely contract HIV.”
“Every hour, two young people between the ages of 13 and 24 contract HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The CDC estimates that half of all new HIV infections occur in people under age 25.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)