How to Survive a Plague

The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS

4.41 based on 643 ratings & 150 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 21.09.2017
ISBN: 9781509839407
Number of pages: 640

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

Riveting account of the effort by citizens and scientists alike to combat AIDS in its devastating early years. France moved to New York fresh out of college, in 1981, and he focusses on the city, where nearly half of the gay population was infected with H.I.V. before the virus was discovered. Threaded with poignant personal recollection, his history is formidable in scope and profoundly humane. It’s also a study in the power of protest and civil disobedience, bound to be useful in the days ahead
New Yorker
France's work is imbued with grief for those who have been lost and what he has lived through. But his work is also a majestic celebration of the transformative powers of a fight for justice, integrity and love.
Sydney Morning Herald
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