This is a 1993 TV movie about the AIDS epidemic and its early effects on the gay community. Doctors are not sure what is causing opportunistic infections such as pneumocystis pneumonia among several patients in hospitals across USA. They are further surprised that almost all are gay men. The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention calls in Dr. Don Francis from the World Health Organization to help in researching about the disease. The media is already calling it the gay cancer. Religious leaders are calling it God's punishment to homosexuals. The disease however begins showing up among heterosexuals including women. The visible symptoms before death are usually Kaposi Sarcoma.
A doctor is able to track down a gay airline steward who happens to be promiscuous and most gay men remember sleeping with because of his gorgeous looks. He has also been to hospital with the symptoms of the disease. Most gay men he has had sex with are already sick or dead. Using information from the French Canadian steward the doctor is able to conclude the disease is sexually transmitted.
Meanwhile Dr. Don Francis is getting frustrated due to lack of funding and equipment from the government. Reagan is the president and his administration seems not to take keen interest in the disease. The gay community which is the most affected is split on what steps to take. In San Francisco majority are against closing the gay bath houses fearing it is a plot by the government to take away their hard fought rights.
The research takes a new turn when Dr. Don is informed an intravenous drug user has contracted the disease. He now knows it has to do with the blood supply. Patients who have undergone blood transfusions especially hemophiliacs start showing signs of the disease also. Blood banks get into a tussle with the CDC over this because they fear subjecting all the blood to screening might be too expensive.
French researchers at last discover the virus. It is a new retrovirus. It is named AIDS meaning Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Dr. Don asks to be transferred to San Francisco where the effect of the virus is highest due to the lifestyle of the large gay community there. He still gets frustrated by government red tape. After retiring he works in San Francisco trying to develop and AIDS vaccine.