Meet the Cuban Punks Who Infected Themselves with HIV in Protest

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Meet the Cuban Punks Who Infected Themselves with HIV in Protest 4.5
VICE meets a few surviving members of Los Frikis, a Cuban punk movement, who purposely infected themselves with HIV in the early 90s. The punks used this method as a way to get sent to government-sanctioned sanatoriums where they were given better resources than they had on the streets.


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VICE meets a few of the last surviving members of Los Frikis, the Cuban punks who purposefully infected themselves with HIV so that they'd be sent to government-sanctioned sanatoriums.

Author — VICE


You should really change the title to "Meet the Cuban Punks Who Infected Themselves with HIV for Survival" or something like that, otherwise it makes you think they did it for dumb reasons.

Author — Gerdronex


The lady at the end seemed like she had some regrets

Author — MichMichxo


He pulled his shoelace out for That? It's gonna take forever to out that back in, and that's if he even has one aglet!

Author — Silo 101


That’s so sad. Accepting a dead sentence just to live.

Author — Jecal34


i dont wanna live on this planet anymore

Author — Hawk Eye


It was not in protest, it was because they did not have the means to live. Very misleading title.

Author — polltax


Never trust a mofo with an eyebrow piercing. Real talk.

Author — Nikki Lynn


"Cuba has been isolated from most of the world" is a completely false statement. Only ONE country tried to isolate Cuba. Everyone other than the USA has had normal relations with Cuba for decades.

Author — osriodore


Ain't no way in hell. I'll sleep under the bridge.

Author — Michelle


You can't judge someone based on a life you haven't yet lived... just because it's not happening to you or around you it doesn't mean it's not happening somewhere in the world. We can't judge these people based off of their life experiences that made them make that choice. 🤷🏽‍♀️

Author — gladi perez


That’s insane and I’d never heard of this. I️ can’t believe these people have themselves HIV to get regular food and water

Author — Gabi Maza


Leaving isn't always something you can do. Don't judge these people, they clearly went thru enough just for liking punk rock

Author — stella


When you're so used to reading subtitles, that you start reading even if you understand Spanish 😂

Author — candykizz3z68


"I knew what I was doing" boy you had no idea

Author — Ali Eid


For those calling these people idiots and too lazy to work, I would recommend listening to the Radiolab episode "Los Frikis" that was done on this group a few years ago. It wasn't simply a means by which they could get food, shelter and medical care (one of the best in the world).
At the time being labelled "anti-revolutionary" in Cuba amounted to a death threat. People were being pulled out of their homes by police and shot. And they especially liked to target non-conformist groups which they perceived as a threat to their ideals. But at the start of the HIV/AIDS scare people were terrified of the virus. Including police. They wouldn't touch anyone they suspected of being infected.

So the Frikis got the idea to infect themselves and make it known that they were infected. By doing so, they took the power away from the police. What do you care about someone threatening to kill you if you're already dying?

They were already perceived as being in the lowest rung in Cuban society, and they were stuck in a society they hated. Why not create their own ideal society inside the sanatoriums, away from persecution and police brutality? Why place value on a long life if you aren't allowed to live the life you want?

Author — Tintinftww


I need to be more grateful and grounded with my life. It's a heart-wrenching story. I'm sorry for them. God bless 🙏

Author — Arrahma syafrani


they had a better chance taking the boat.

Author — Dave D


You can totally tell that Gerson still Lives in his nostalgia Live every day My dude

Author — Super Maxx


I wish they gave more back story specifically the couple and their “friends”.

Author — LUCKYJ3SS3