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The Bravest Generation

An important book preserves the stories of those who faced AIDS during the epidemic’s darkest days.

For gay men in the 1980s, the AIDS EPIDEMIC became a formative experience. It united a generation who experienced similar fears, hardships, loss and a specific kind of bravery; it includes those who survived, those who did not, and those who were not necessarily part of the community but suffered the loss of someone close to them.

In The AIDS Generation, author Perry N. Halkitis, an expert on HIV behavioral research, explores the strategies that young, HIV-positive gay men employed to cope with their diagnosis in a time when the prognosis was bleak. Halkitis interviews members of what he calls the bravest generation, recording their stories in a bid to understand the psychological and emotional effects of the “unexpected life crisis” that was the AIDS epidemic. To delve into these pages is to be transported back to a time before research, before effective medicines, before talk of a vaccine and even before the terms HIV and AIDS. It was a tragic time but also a time when joining together offered a glimmer of hope that sparked the beginning of a rights movement that has continued to the present day.

Stories of myth and escapism, grief and pragmatism, immobility and action: These are emotional, revealing accounts that bring the past to life and preserve important stories for future generations.

By Jennifer Schiavone

Metrosource is a glossy lifestyle and entertainment magazine geared towards the modern metropolitan gay community. Metrosource has three editions: New York, Los Angeles and National. For more great articles like this, subscribe here or download Metrosource for iPad, iPhone, Android and Kindle.

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