This is a true story, in fact a biography, of Pedro Zamora, a Cuban-American who was diagnosed as HIV positive at the age of seventeen when he had gone to donate blood to the Red Cross.
This is a true story, in fact a biography, of Pedro Zamora, a Cuban-American who was diagnosed as HIV positive at the age of seventeen when he had gone to donate blood to the Red Cross. The discovery is very saddening, but Pedro decides to use his condition to be an example to educate other young Americans to have safe sex. Through MTV’s reality TV “The Real World”, Pedro Zamora enlightened MTV viewers about the importance of taking precautions when having sex with multiple partners. The Real World: San Francisco started at a time when AIDS was spreading at a fast pace and it was necessary to educate the people of how to avoid unsafe sex and tell them the consequences of not doing so.
Pedro Zamora died just a few hours after the final season of the reality show ended. The movie is a tribute to him, describing his life as a gay and his mission to protect others from getting into the situation in which he had found himself, only because there had been no one to tell him about unsafe sex. Alex Loynaz as Pedro in the film has done an excellent job of portraying a character who was so strong-willed and powerful even though he was slowly wasting from within. We also see depicted the famous onscreen wedding of Pedro with his partner Sean Sasser (DaJuan Johnson), which at that time was very shocking, as homosexuality and lesbian weddings were unheard of.
Pedro narrates out his story loud and clear and unabashed, but he also gives young high school students a lesson that they need to learn greatly. He explains to them that they should not write this off as a joke or something that does not happen to everybody. It is totally unpredictable, as a person who is HIV positive does not have it written on his face, a normal healthy looking person could be as much HIV positive as a perfectly normal weak person. He tells them how he regrets that he did not know all this and had multiple partners without using any kind of safe sex measures. Pedro believed that if he told them his story blatantly and clear, he would be more successful in driving his point across.
When the San Francisco housemates move into Lombard Street, they become a subject of controversy. The producers have already told the housemates that one of them is HIV positive, but which one of them it is, is kept a secret. The housemates look at each other with suspicion and the common subject of suspicion is Puck (Matt Barr), who they believe is the one who is HIV positive. We see the kind of reaction the whole subject instigates and how people are up against AIDS and how Pedro tries to convince them that forming assumptions did not help. There was a need to change perspectives, make people think rationally, but inspite of his efforts there were people who failed to believe him.
The reality show had been a great success with Pedro himself delivering his knowledge and so has the film with good performances by Alex Loynaz and DaJuan Johnson, as Pedro and Sean Sasser, the couple who made history when they exchanged rings on a live reality show. They had set an example putting aside all the apprehensions of racism, homosexuality and same sex marriage to a rest. Pedro was not only an instigating factor to young people of his time, but is still today a great motivating force to all those youngsters who still ignore the consequences of unsafe sex, at a day when AIDS is on the rise on a worldwide scale.