Ron Woodroof is an electrician and rodeo cowboy with a devil-may-care lifestyle who is blindsided with an H.I.V.-positive diagnosis and given 30 days to live. He quickly finds a lack of approved medications in the U.S. and crosses the border into Mexico where he learns about alternative treatments and begins smuggling them into the U.S.
Ron finds an unlikely ally in fellow AIDS patient Rayon, a transsexual who shares Ron's lust for life and entrepreneurial spirit. They establish a "buyers club," where H.I.V.-positive people pay monthly dues for access to the newly acquired supplies. Deep in the heart of Texas, Ron's pioneering underground collective beats loud and strong as he fights for dignity, education, and acceptance.