- Series: Critical Issues in Health and Medicine
- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: Rutgers University Press; annotated edition edition (August 21, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 081353867X
- ISBN-13: 978-0813538679
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,274,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fighting For Our Lives: New York's AIDS Community and the Politics of Disease (Critical Issues in Health and Medicine) annotated edition Edition
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The text provides a good overview, but, as its subtitle indicates, its focus is New York and New York City in particular. Some references are made to activities in other cities, but none are as detailed as what took place in NYC. For example, the "San Francisco model" is referenced on several occasions, but it is never described in much detail, and certainly not at the same level of detail as the organizations in NYC.
The book does a good job of surveying the genesis and evolution of the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), although one is left wanting more detail about both organizations. Both were very important social institutions responding to the AIDS crisis, and this reader was left wanting a more detailed discussion of each.
Even though the New York focus was indicated in the book's subtitle, its NYC focus also was problematic. Good work was being done in San Francisco and was even noted in the text, but received only glancing attention in the book. Little detail was provided, certainly not to the extent as the social organizations in NYC were described. Los Angeles is given even shorter shrift. Chicago is not mentioned at all.
Also missing from the book was mention of the scientific organizations as social institutions which were involved in fighting the HIV epidemic. Other books describe some of the history of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), but neither were covered in their roles as *social* institutions. This omission was made all the more glaring with the text's treatment of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a scientific institution, strictly speaking, but its role as a social institution was presented.
The text is tightly focused on the first two decades of the epidemic in New York City, with a primary focus on the first decade, a substantive treatment of the second decade, but sparse treatment of the first half of the first decade of the 21st century. The advent of HAART is mentioned only once, and none of the social institutions involved in the promulgation of HAART are discussed. Missing altogether is any mention of the migration of the epicenter of HIV infection from the large coastal cities to southern areas.
This book is a good one for those interested in learning about the social institutions developed in NYC in response to the HIV epidemic during its first two decades, but it is very limited beyond its tight focus. The text also could have benefitted from tighter editing and proofreading. I give the book three stars because of its datedness from a perspective in 2017, and its overly narrow focus on NYC. With these caveats in mind, however, the book is a good, solid read.