The AIDS Generation

World AIDS Day was this month, so this week's review follows the stories of those living with this chronic illness in the 80s and 90s through a historical and scientific lens

The AIDS generation : stories of survival and resilience

Halkitis, Perry N. Oxford, 2013
249p, 9780199944972 $49.95

This book provides a riveting account of the magnitude of the AIDS pandemic in America during the 1980s and 1990s. For example, how many readers are aware that “nearly as many young Americans died of AIDS as perished in the Vietnam War”? Halkitis (NYU) writes from a personal perspective as a gay man and “member of the AIDS generation,” and as a psychologist and public health educator. He presents the stories of 15 men who shared their courageous experiences, the strategies they used to manage their AIDS, the anguish many experienced prior to the use of antiretroviral drugs, and the resilience they demonstrated having lived with AIDS and all its complications. The eloquent narratives make the book hard to put down. The book is written within a scientific and historical framework and includes a comprehensive, 16-page reference list that would assist health care workers, students, and anyone interested in learning how individuals deal with medical challenges and how it is to live with a chronic illness.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; general readers.
Reviewer: S. C. Grossman, Fairfield University
Subject: Science & Technology – Health Sciences
Choice Issue: Jun 2014