How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS

How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS

by David France


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How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS by David France

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307745439
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Pages: 656
Sales rank: 235,895
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

DAVID FRANCE is the author of Our Fathers, a book about the Catholic sexual abuse scandal, which Showtime adapted into a film. He coauthored The Confessionwith former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey. He is a contributing editor for New York and has written as well for The New York Times. His documentary film How to Survive a Plague was an Oscar finalist, won a Directors Guild Award and a Peabody Award, and was nominated for two Emmys, among other accolades. His book of the same title won a Baillie Gifford Prize, a Green Carnation Prize, the Israel Fishman Nonfiction Award, a Lambda Literary award, the Randy Shilts Award, and a National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association award for excellence in HIV/AIDS coverage. It was shortlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence and the Wellcome Prize in Literature. The author lives in New York City.

Read an Excerpt

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. The news was generally good. He resumed the physically taxing work of tending the vast vertical jungle of ficus trees and philodendron bushes that filled high-rises throughout the city. He confided that the East Village gallery scene had been cool to his work, but reported the good news that he was back with his college boyfriend, and had never been happier.

Excerpted from "How to Survive a Plague"
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How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Pattyd More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book. The author is a brilliant writer and takes you through the start of the crisis and how the media and the government and the medical establishment responded to the epidemic. David Francis was on the inside of it all as a gay man who was also a journalist. I was at times appalled, outraged, impressed and moved by the behaviors of the various parties involved. I was especially disappointed by the New York Times poor coverage of the crisis and the behavior of Ronald Reagan, Congress and Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of NIAID and NIH during the crisis, who all bear responsibility for the millions of deaths that occurred during the 80s and 90s through slow funding, lack of coverage, lack of listening to people who were contracting the disease and dying from the disease about what they needed and wanted. In Particular Dr. Fauci single-handedly was responsible for tens of thousands of people with AIDS deaths by refusing to issue national protocols on prevention (like using condoms) as he was begged to do repeatedly to prevent more spread of the disease. AIDS could easily have been stopped or slowed down its spread but people just didn't know how, although Dr. Fauci did know that condoms would stop the spread. Dr. Fauci’s behavior as documented throughout the book was especially galling as was the profit-seeing pharmaceutical industry whose profit margins upwards of 80% meant thousands of young people died for lack of affordability. Anyway this is a beautiful memoir – it details how ACT UP came into being, their successes and their failures, and the impressive activists whose intelligence and creativity are very inspiring. The book also details how the medical solution to AIDS was discovered. Highly recommend!