Released on 21 September 2017.

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How to Survive a Plague

The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS

4.39 based on 888 ratings & 194 reviews on Goodreads.com

2017 Winner

Green Carnation Prize

2017 Long-listed

The Wellcome Trust Book Prize

2017 Winner

Baillie Gifford Prize

Synopsis

Winner of The Green Carnation Prize for LGBTQ literature

Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT non-fiction

Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize 2017

'This superbly written chronicle will stand as a towering work in its field' Sunday Times

'Inspiring, uplifting and necessary reading' - Steve Silberman author of Neurotribes, Financial Times

How to Survive a Plague by David France is the riveting, powerful and profoundly moving story of the AIDS epidemic and the grass-roots movement of activists, many of them facing their own life-or-death struggles, who grabbed the reins of scientific research to help develop the drugs that turned HIV from a mostly fatal infection to a manageable disease. Around the globe, the 15.8 million people taking anti-AIDS drugs today are alive thanks to their efforts.

Not since the publication of Randy Shilts's now classic And the Band Played On in 1987 has a book sought to measure the AIDS plague in such brutally human, intimate, and soaring terms.

Weaving together the stories of dozens of individuals, this is an insider's account of a pivotal moment in our history and one that changed the way that medical science is practised worldwide.

In the media

Masterful . . . riveting . . . inspiring . . . At a time when many Americans are worried once again about the wisdom and compassion of their elected leaders, How to Survive a Plague offers a salient reminder of what can be achieved by citizens who remain unbowed and unbroken.
Economist
Powerful and profoundly moving, it’s a soaring achievement
Winq
The men and women in the AIDS advocacy movement saved lives and made history. France has honored them by telling their stories . . . How to Survive a Plague is the definitive book on AIDS activism, a long-overdue update on Randy Shilts’ 1987 And the Band Played On . . . It’s not easy to balance solid journalism with intimate understanding of a subject, and even harder to write eloquently about a disease that’s killing your friends and loved ones. France pulls it off, in his own words (his description of finding a college roommate’s panel in the AIDS Memorial Quilt is heartbreaking) and in letting his articulate sources speak for themselves.
San Francisco Chronicle