I completed a first draft of this book's manuscript in the fall of 1996, and began revising. In the intervening months (I write these last words in the summer of 1997), media representations of AIDS have changed dramatically. New drug therapies (or “regimens”—an interesting militaristic figure) appear to offer hope of, if not a cure, a manner of controlling viral levels in certain individuals. This may sound like the long-promised era of AIDS as a “chronic, treatable illness”—not a fatal one. But of course it isn't. In fact, the new therapies, welcome as they are, only serve to make more obvious, at the national and global levels, the social inequities that have facilitated the spread of HIV.

The New York Times, November 28, 1996, ...

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