How to Survive a Plague

The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS

Publisher: Vintage
A definitive history of the successful battle to halt the AIDS epidemic, here is the incredible story of the grassroots activists whose work turned HIV from a mostly fatal infection to a manageable disease. Almost universally ignored, these men and women learned to become their own researchers, lobbyists, and drug smugglers, established their own newspapers and research journals, and went on to force reform in the nation’s disease-fighting agencies. From the creator of, and inspired by, the seminal documentary of the same name, How to Survive a Plague is an unparalleled insider’s account of a pivotal moment in the history of American civil rights.

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I didn´t have serious concerns for my own health. What I worried about was Brian Gougeon. I checked on him frequently. Neither of us brought up AIDS directly or his health specifically, though I sensed he resented my calls as reminders of that scare. Like characters in a Saramago novel, we talked about anything else...
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PRAISE FOR

One of the Best Books of the Year
The New York TimesSan Francisco Chronicle  The New Yorker  Newsweek


“Breathtakingly important. . . . David France managed to simultaneously break my heart and rekindle my anger.” —Steven Petrow, The Washington Post

“Inspiring. We owe so much to those brave activists and to Mr. France for writing this vital book.” —Anderson Cooper, The Wall Street Journal
 
“France delivers a monumental punch in the gut; his book is as moving and involving as a Russian novel. . . . An intimate, searing memoir and a vivid, detailed history.” —The Washington Post

“A riveting, galvanizing account.” —The New Yorker
 
“So real to someone who witnessed it that I had to put this volume down and catch my breath.” —Andrew Sullivan, The New York Times Book Review
 
“A remarkably written and highly relevant record of what angry, invested citizens can come together to achieve, and a moving and instructive testament to one community’s refusal—in the face of ignorance, hatred and death—to be silenced or to give up.” —Chicago Tribune