Public Concern Continues to Fall, but the Disease Hasn’t Stopped
Held December 1 of each year, World Aids Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and commemorate those who have died.
Learn more with these books and films:
How to Survive a Plague
The story of the brave young men and women who successfully reversed the tide of an epidemic, demanded the attention of a fearful nation, and stopped AIDS from becoming a death sentence.
Virus Hunt: The Search for the Origin of HIV
by Dorothy H. Crawford
AIDS was first described in 1981 and just under three years later the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) was discovered. Confirming that HIV causes AIDS–now accepted by virtually all scientists–took rather longer. But where did HIV come from? When did it first infect us? How did it manage to spread so widely?
Saturday is for Funerals
by Unity Dow & Max Essex
A compelling look at the toll of AIDS in Africa and some hopeful developments: While Botswana was hard-hit by the epidemic (in 2000, the World Health Organization predicted that 85 percent of 15-year-olds would eventually die of AIDS), it has provided a successful model for other countries by taking a proactive approach to dealing with the disease.
Tinderbox: How the West Sparked the AIDS epidemic and How the World Can Finally Overcome It
Craig Timberg and Daniel Halperin
Carried harmlessly for centuries by the chimpanzees of Cameroon, the HIV virus was unleashed when colonialists plowed their way through previously untraveled reaches of Africa, escalating human-animal contact. Today, argue Timberg, former Johannesburg bureau chief for the Washington Post, and Harvard AIDS researcher Halperin, Western attitudes are still hurting the effort to combat AIDS in Africa.
by Paige Rawl with Ali Benjamin
A teenager’s memoir of the experinces of bullying, being HIV positive and surviving the experiences to become a force for positive change in this world.
by Courtney Sheinmal
Thirteen-year-old Emmy, grieving over her mother who died of AIDS, resentful of having to live with her father and pregnant stepmother, and despairing about her future, finds hope at a summer camp for HIV-positive girls like herself. Includes facts about Elizabeth Glaser, one of the founders of the Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Second Avenue Caper: When Goodfellas, Divas, and Dealers Plotted Against the Plague
by Joyce Brabner, illustrated by Mark Zingarelli
The true story of a tight-knit group of artists and activists living in New York City in the early 1980s who found themselves on the front lines in the fight against AIDS.
Days of Grace: A Memoir
by Arthur Ashe and Arnold Rampersand
Tennis great Ashe, who died in 1993, describes his battle against AIDS (contracted from a blood transfusion during open-heart surgery), and tells of his struggle against racism. Although not gay, Ashe also became a sympathetic activist for the gay community. He was very vocal in his last years, speaking out against prejudice towards AIDS victims, racism, apartheid, and U.S. policy towards Haitians wishing to enter this country.
A Positive Life: Living with HIV as a Pastor, Husband and Father
by Shane Stanford
Stanford contracted the disease in the 1980s, when HIV/AIDS was a death sentence. The author takes readers through his childhood, when he spent much time under the benign mentoring influence of his grandfather; his adolescence, when he was diagnosed and met his future wife; and his struggle to become a pastor despite his HIV-positive status. His story is more than just a battle against prejudice and HIV/AIDS; it’s a love story, a tale of forgiveness, a picture of resilience, and a witness to God’s grace.
Sean Strub, founder of the groundbreaking POZ magazine, producer of the hit play “The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me,” and the first openly HIV-positive candidate for U.S. Congress, charts his remarkable life. Strub takes readers through his own diagnosis and inside ACT UP, the organization that transformed a stigmatized cause into one of the defining political movements of our time.
Two Boys Kissing
by David Levithan
A chorus of men who died of AIDS observes and yearns to help a cross-section of today’s gay teens who navigate new love, long-term relationships, coming out, self-acceptance, and more in a society that has changed in many ways.
Hold Tight Gently
by Martin Duberman
A dual biography of two very different gay men battling a mysterious illness during the early days of the AIDS epidemic. Singer and activist Michael Callen was a white Ohioan who moved to New York and became a pioneering figure in the movement to increase AIDS awareness during the Reagan years. Essex Hemphill was an African American poet who contributed to the black gay and lesbian cultural scene in Washington, DC. Duberman sees their stories as opposite sides of the same coin; although they never met, they were both “undersung” and inadvertent heroes.
The Normal Heart
Based on the play of the same name by Larry Kramer, this HBO Films drama tells the dramatic, poignant and often-exasperating story of the early days of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, taking an unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial.