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[Excerpt] I wanted to write a book about my patients and my colleagues and how we made it through the roller-coaster last decade of the twentieth century, how we moved from helplessly watching our patients die to being able to offer them a treatment course and a fairly normal life expectancy. In that time we saw some patients literally return from death’s door. This kind of dramatic success has not been seen in any other field of medicine, except perhaps following the introduction of penicillin many years ago. I wanted to try to answer the question “What was it like?” What was it like to care for patients with AIDS, a disease that didn’t even exist when I was in college? How did we deal with dying patients for whom we had a diagnosis but no treatment? How did we care for patients that many in society rejected, patients that many even within the field of medicine rejected? What happened in those years, when the prognosis for a patient with HIV went from nearly hopeless to very hopeful?


The abstract, table of contents, and first twenty-five pages are published with permission from the Cornell University Press. For ordering information, please visit the Cornell University Press.