WE HAVE AIDS by Elaine Landau


Email this review


Landau now reports on nine heart-wrenching interviews with teen-agers who have AIDS. She begins with a typical shocker: a 16-year-old who contracted the disease from a high-school romance and suffered cruel rejection before dying. Despite what they knew about AIDS, the gift's parents restricted her to the basement bathroom; her father didn't even return from a business trip for her funeral. Other sources of infection here include transfusion, street life, and unsafe gay sex. Many of the kids are treated callously, but not all the parents reject their children. Still, the young people are stunned by family and social reactions, and nearly all suffer from the stigma as well as from the disease. Between the profiles are brief facts and advice (""What is a silent carrier?""), while misconceptions about transmission are cleared up in the interviews. The terrible tales are told with empathy and power. A boy plans a touching fantasy trip as a way to say goodbye; one gift didn't date in the US but, ironically, got this equal-opportunity killer on a summer trip to Europe, where it's less common. Moving, and effectively cautionary. Resources; bibliography.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1990
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Watts