An insider's detailed view of the desperate measures taken by those suffering from AIDS to find an effective treatment; by ex- Hollywood whiz-kid Sergios, who became a driving force in the AIDS underground after testing HIV-positive. Diagnosed in 1983, at age 22, just at the start of a promising career in the movie business, Sergios initially made use of the AIDS support network that emerged in the L.A. gay community, attending group self-help sessions and informing himself about his illness as facts became available. Before long, faced with little official progress toward any solution to the epidemic, he and others took action—researching drugs and therapies that hadn't gained approval from the American medical establishment, and using every means possible to acquire and experiment with these alternatives. Vivid details of drug-smuggling and underground labs create a roller-coaster chronicle of hope and despair as one treatment after another proves largely ineffective; meanwhile, precise descriptions of AIDS-related pharmacology and pathology combine with tributes to those carrying on the fight, including doctors willing to supervise experimental treatments without FDA approval as well as victims for whom time eventually runs out. Sergios's own struggle to continue the search for a cure while coping with the slow deterioration of his mental abilities gives a tragic cast to his story, even as his determination to carry on provides a remarkably positive tone. Impressive and meticulously documented: an essential chronicle for all who would understand the bitter reality of AIDS in America today.
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