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How to Survive a Plague

The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 12, 2016 – Journalist France (Our Fathers) illuminates the origins and progress of the fight against AIDS in this moving mix of memoir and reportage, a companion book to his eponymous Academy Award nominated 2012 documentary. He covers a revolution in drug development that occurred as patients, for the first time, "joined in the search for their own salvation." France begins in 1981, when a buried New York Times story first identified a "Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals," and continues through 1996, when a medical system transformed by activism delivered treatments that rendered AIDS a manageable illness. He juxtaposes his personal involvement with that of a group of self-proclaimed "HIVIPs," key ACT UP leaders from their Treatment + Data Committee whose collective mission was getting the medical establishment to put "drugs into bodies." Eventually, ACT UP became unwieldy and the group spun-off into the Treatment Action Group. France shares with passion and pathos the personal battles of these activists, offering both plaudits and opprobrium to an array of players who constituted the fabric of the community. As important as Randy Shilts's And the Band Played On was in 1987, France's work is a must-read for a new generation of empowered patients, informed medical practitioners, and challenged caregivers lest history repeat itself.
How to Survive a Plague
View in iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Health & Fitness
  • Published: Nov 29, 2016
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 656 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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