Released on 21 September 2017.

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How to Survive a Plague

The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS

4.4 based on 948 ratings & 205 reviews on Goodreads.com

2017 Winner

Green Carnation Prize

2017 Winner

Baillie Gifford Prize

2017 Long-listed

The Wellcome Trust Book 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

David France managed to simultaneously break my heart and rekindle my anger in just the first few pages of his breathtakingly important new book . . . Riveting.
Washington Post
This superbly written chronicle will stand as a towering work in its field, the best book on the pretreatment years of the epidemic since Randy Shilts’s And the Band Played On (1987), which it corrects in places. Most of the people to whom it bears witness are not around to read it, but millions are alive today thanks to their efforts, and this moving record will ensure that their legacy does not die with them.
Sunday Times
Important and powerfully written . . . Instead of diluting the emotional force of his narrative, France’s personal perspective on the story amplifies it, particularly because his meticulously chronicled version of events is never clouded by sentimentality or petty score-settling . . . How to Survive a Plague stands on its own as a more richly nuanced telling of a chain of events that forever changed medicine . . . Inspiring, uplifting and necessary reading.
Financial Times