The Secret Epidemic by Jacob Levenson
The Story of AIDS and Black America

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Half the people in the United States who are diagnosed with HIV are now African American. Through the eyes of those on the front lines of the crisis, journalist Jacob Levenson tells a story of race and public health that spans fifty years and reveals how AIDS has become one of the leading killers of young black men and women. Medical researcher Mindy Fullilove investigates the epidemic’s links to crack cocaine, the Bronx fires, and national health policy. Desiree Rushing must reconcile her crack addiction and HIV infection with the fate of her city, family, and the black church. David deShazo, a white AIDS worker in Alabama, fights to prevent the American South from becoming the epidemic’s new epicenter. And Mario Cooper, a gay, infected son of the black elite confronts the boundaries of American race politics in Washington, D.C. Seamlessly interweaving personal stories with national policy, Levenson indelibly captures this devastating epidemic and illuminates its potential to expand our understanding of race in America.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Jacob Levenson

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Jacob Levenson has written about AIDS for Vibe, The Oxford American, and Mother Jones, and he received a grant from the Open Society Institute to work on this book. He studied at the University of California, Berkeley, and he received a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. He lives in Brooklyn.
Published February 3, 2004 by Anchor. 320 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Levenson incorporates epidemiological statistics and the Clinton administration's political policy squabbles into the stories, but it is the book's personal elements that stand out: the psychiatrist's struggle to effectively convey her findings on AIDS and black America to colleagues and policy m...

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Project MUSE

In his recent book, The Secret Epidemic: The Story of AIDS and Black America, Jacob Levenson adopts an unusual style (with some debt to new journalism) to explore the history and ethnography of HIV/AIDS in Black America.

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