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Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Longtime Companion

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 03 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4595
  1. Birte Twisselmann, web editor, BMJ

Longtime Companion is often credited with being the first film to put a human face to the AIDS epidemic. The title derives from the New York Times’s refusal to acknowledge homosexual relationships in its obituaries in the 1980s and its use of the term for the surviving partner in a gay relationship.

The story is told in nine single days in each of the years 1981 to 1989 and follows a group of close friends. The action switches between Manhattan and Fire Island and ends with three of the friends reminiscing about all those they have lost over …

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