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WATCH: 10 years later, this controversial gay film is a snapshot of a time before PrEP

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A decade ago this month, the FDA approved Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), making it the first official drug for reducing the risk of sexually acquired HIV infection.Though the pill has stirred up a number of debates over the years, its introduction was a major moment for the LGBTQ community, forever changing the way we think about, talk about, and have sex.Through that lens, that makes filmmaker Sal Bardo’s short, Chaser, a fascinating time capsule.

Filmed in 2012, its story concerns itself with Zach (Max Rhyser), a gay man who escapes the confines of his daily life by exploring New York’s barebacking scene.Shown to be a well-liked high school teacher by day, Zach nonetheless feels alienated at home, where his Orthodox Jewish family holds him to impossibly high standards.

It’s in the evenings that he’s able to find some sort of fulfillment—or at least that’s what he tells himself—pursuing anonymous, unsafe sex.

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