Back to IndieWire

Watch Preview Trailer For Documentary “25 To Life” (HIV As A Weapon & Contrition)

Watch Preview Trailer For Documentary "25 To Life" (HIV As A Weapon & Contrition)

Attempted Murderer…” That’s what one of the young women in the preview trailer below called William Brawner, the subject of the documentary 25 To Life – a young African American man who contracted HIV at just 18 months old, something which he and his immediate family kept a secret for some 25 Years – from his friends, extended family members, and lovers, many who Brawner had unprotected sex with.

Finally, at 27 years old, William decided to publicly disclose his secret to the shock and anger of many friends, family, and past girlfriends.

The film, directed by Mike Brown, and produced by Yvonne M. Shirley, follows William Brawner as he confronts his promiscuous past, and tries to forge a new open honest life with his HIV negative wife.


The filmmakers tell me that they are trying to build awareness for the documentary and their fundraising campaign, which will all assist in completing the film.

So first watch the preview below, and if you’re moved to do so, go to: and click on DONATE to contribute. Your donation is tax deductible (via the International Documentary Association).

And also *like* or *follow* them via their social networking sites – Facebook and Twitter

Here’s the preview:

This Article is related to: News and tagged


F Gayle

WOW I can honestly feel for this young man, I couldn't imagine living with such a heavy burden but he had a responsibility and failed horribly. I commend him for exposing himself to the world in this light because I knew people who were infected and lashed out the way he did, but instead of informing the people they exposed they died bitter. Do I think he should serve time? HELL YES! As sad as his story is it still doesn't excuse the fact that he exposed these women to deadly disease. If I had the money to push this project through I would do it in a heart beat because as a young woman of color I know all to well that my peers don't realize the seriousness of this disease and live their lives recklessly. Hats off to you young man because this is a very powerful message and I do hope that you are able to complete your project.


My heart breaks for him when I look at his pics as a little boy. But as an adult, if that was me he contacted I would try to slit his throat if he came up with some "sorry" and his ignorant family's denial. Not saying that's right nor justified, just my gut reaction. He does not deserve kudos because he's trying not to go to hell now. The young lady is correct in calling him "attempted murderer". But aside from that, the trailer is very well done and it is a compelling story. I'm not contributing to it, though.


I don't get it. Why wouldn't someone want to support this film so that other people can become more aware of some of the selfish and unpleasant actions of some who have this disease. How many people come forward to reveal themselves like this when they know they are going to get so much anger and hate back at them. The stigma of HIV/AIDS is part of the problem because it can help turn a person into a liar. And the stigma today is nothing like what it once was in the 80's up through the mid-90's. How many people are out there with an STD such as this one or Herpes, etc. do not reveal their status to their partners? This guy is calling up these women, in fact has already been able to reach most of them. He has to be willing to take the fall legally if someone's family sues him if they contract the disease and also die. Death sentence? Many people with HIV/AIDS are still here and doing well who are much older than he is. This guy is still here trying to make something positive off of something negative he's done. How many people have the courage to do that? These were not good decisions made by his family. Perhaps they believed initially that it was a good because he was just he was a little boy but once he became sexually active the playing field changed. If I had a son or daughter, I would take them to that documentary and make sure they watch it from beginning to end. Then we would discuss.


I'm not donating anything either. Did you hear his mother say that she felt he didn't have to tell any of his partners as long as he wasn't having unprotected sex???!!! This is foolishness! He went around having sex with women and didn't disclose this DEATH SENTENCE to these women! What was he going to say to them if ever they got infected? "Sorry"? Boi stop!


It’s not about condoning this man’s actions. This documentary could be one of the most powerful education tools against the spread of HIV. The message is protect yourself; don’t trust a sexual partner until you know your HIV statuses, and even then, take precautions; the message is not that we should forgive and support a man that has been recklessly endangering the lives of others.

However, this man deserves some credit for coming forward and facing his ugly demons and speaking about this publicly. There’s a big stigma, a taboo that silences those to speak about HIV. That’s ignorance. If this film can prevent infection, by all means this documentary deserves to be funded, and I certainly hope it does.


I ain't donating ish. The guy is a jerk and his family is trifling. He is just trying to clear his conscious before he kicks the bucket. Too late!


I'm absolutely appalled at this man's actions. Whether he apologizes or not, to knowingly have unprotected sex with with a woman and not give her the right to choose is such a selfish act in itself that the stiffest charges possible should be brought against him. Yet somehow, I doubt that spending the rest of his life in an eight by ten is enough punishment to compensate for the amount of families he's destroyed. My God have mercy on your soul.


He is a jerk and his parents probably deserve a lot of the blame – I wouldn't be surprised if (1) they didn't pound in the fact that he needs to be very, very careful and (2) knew full well he was being a male ho. But that's why women need to protect themselves at all times. Boys could care less. Too many men care very little.


I'm disgusted by his actions. He needs to be in jail.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *