Picador to publish 'inside story' of AIDS epidemic

Picador to publish 'inside story' of AIDS epidemic

Picador is publishing an "epoch-making" history and inside story of the AIDS epidemic on World AIDS Day 2016.

Picador’s associate publisher Ravi Mirchandani acquired UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights to publish David France’s How to Survive a Plague in a deal from Esmond Harmsworth at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth.

How to Survive A Plague: The Story of the Activists and Scientists who Tamed AIDS tells the story of the AIDS epidemic and the grass-roots movement of activists, credited in grabbing the reins of scientific research to help develop the drugs that turned HIV from a mostly fatal infection to a manageable disease for 15.8m people around the world.

The book's author, David France, has chronicled AIDS from its earliest days, and uses his access to the community to illuminate the lives of dozens of "extraordinary" characters, examples including the closeted Wall Street trader-turned-activist; the high school dropout who found purpose battling pharmaceutical giants in New York; the South African physician who helped establish the first officially recognized buyers' club at the height of the epidemic; and the public relations executive fighting to save his own life for the sake of his young daughter.

He will describe the founding of ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), the rise of an underground drug market in opposition to the use of the prohibitively expensive (and sometimes toxic) early AIDS drug AZT, and the march toward a lifesaving medical breakthrough.

The "insider's account" expands on a pivotal moment in the history of American civil rights, changing how science is practiced worldwide. France's documentary of the same name was a 2012 Oscars nominee, won a Directors Guild Award and a Peabody Award, and was nominated for two Emmys, among other accolades.

Mirchandani said: "David France’s remarkable book is a gripping and essential narrative of the story of America’s AIDS epidemic and a fascinating insight into the power of activism and the processes of medical research, but, more than anything else, it is a book that provokes, as it did in so many of the participants in the story, both tremendous grief and enormous anger at how many lives were unnecessarily lost. I am enormously proud that Picador will be publishing here in the UK."

Picador publishes in hardback and e-book on 1st December 2016.