Holiday Reading: The Best Books on HIV

There is more to HIV and AIDS literature than medical books. In fact, people have been writing about HIV and AIDS since the 1970’s and 80’s. From history to memoir, there is a multitude of fascinating books that address HIV and AIDS.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to get cozy with a good book. And if you’re interested in broadening your knowledge about HIV, UNM Truman Health Services has a list of great page-turners that may change the way you think about HIV.

And The Band Played On by Randy Shilts

A true classic, Shilts’ book investigates the politics behind how and why HIV was spreading so quickly in the early 1980’s.

Angels in America by Tony Kushner

If you’ve never seen it on the stage, or even if you have, Angels in America is an essential read for anyone who wants to explore how HIV has impacted our culture.

The Invisible Cure by Helen Epstein

AIDS is an epidemic in Africa. This book looks at why the current interventions are falling short and how we can create more effective solutions for AIDS in African countries.

The River by Edward Hooper

A well-researched and scientific examination of HIV in the 20th century. This is the perfect book to read if you want to know more about the origins of HIV and the history of transmission.

Stitching a Revolution by Cleve Jones

Discover the story behind the AIDS Memorial Quilt with this powerful biography of a man who started one of the most meaningful symbols of HIV and AIDS in America.

Borrowed Time by Paul Monette

Borrowed Time is a beautifully written memoir that recounts the last two years of life of Roger Horwitz, Paul Monette’s partner. Monette was one of the first writers to speak for HIV+ individuals.

The Farewell Symphony by Edmund White

This book follows the journey of a man who has lost many of his friends and his lover to the AIDS epidemic. It is the final installment in White’s trilogy on gay life, which includes A Boy’s Own Story and The Beautiful Room Is Empty.

The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination by Sarah Shulman.

If you’ve been looking for a powerful memoir, this is it. This book recounts queer youth and culture between 1981 and 1996 in New York City.