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Book Report on And the Band Played On by Randy Shilles - Essay Example

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Your name Name of Professor Book Report on, “And the Band Played On” by Randy Shilts Randy Shilts, the writer of the non-fiction book, And the Band Played On, was a journalist of the San Francisco Chronicle. Shilts published the book in 1987…
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Book Report on And the Band Played On by Randy Shilles
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Download file to see previous pages Of much importance to Mr. Shilts was the role the U.S. government played. Therefore, his book focuses much on the government’s lack of interest and internal wrangles in the U.S. during this time, AIDS was initially seen as a disease for gays in America, and there was an assumption that it could only affect gays and perhaps intravenous drug users. In the book, Shilts acknowledges that AIDS is a result of a biological agent and occurred naturally. However, it is because of negligence towards the early victims that encouraged the spread of the disease. He also attributes the spread to apathy toward the early victims. According to him, this disease would have been eradicated were the Americans willing to. Being an investigative journalist that he was, Shilts writes this book in an investigative form. The book covers the various events that led to the spread of AIDS. The book also covers the poor politics that were involved in the fight against the pandemic. In addition, the book clearly spells out the effects the battle had on certain groups in America such as the Gay society. Other groups involved in the battle were medical society. The beginning of Shilts work is set in the late seventies, when we get the first confirmed case of AIDS. This is the case of Greth Rask, a Danish doctor, who had allegedly contacted the disease while working in Africa. Shilts’ work ends in 1985, when Rock Hudson comes public that he is dying of AIDS. Hudson was an actor. The death attracts the international attention to the gravity of the pandemic (Shilts). Shilts’s book captures what most people said to be the major ways by which the disease spread. It first raised alarm in New York and California. Most gay men were not only developing opportunistic infections but also cancers, which were resistant to treatment. There were also similar infections in the intravenous drug users. Shilts commended San Francisco’s Public Health Department for their efforts in tracing communicable diseases. They searched for infected people and tried to get a connection between them and other people with connected symptoms in other areas. He saw this as a good way other people should have adopted in identifying infected people. He also gives a case of Parisian doctors’ way of identifying the victims. Some Parisian researchers had started taking biopsies of HIV-infected lymph nodes and discovered a new retrovirus. This was the virus found by a researcher in America later. Therefore, the virus would be tested from the lymph nodes. Another test we encounter in Shilts’s book is the use of antibodies to detect the virus. This was approved in 1985 by the food Drug Administration (FDA). This provided for the screening of blood before transfusion, to prevent transmission of the virus from an infected blood donor to an uninfected recipient. There was also a conclusion that the disease could be transmitted through sexual intercourse with an infected person. Those at more risk were the gays and intravenous drug users. This is somehow a biological concept. The predisposing factor among the gays is the fact that the surface they use for sexual intercourse is not lubricated and thus the friction during sexual intercourse arises to cuts that act as openings for the viruses to get into the body. For intravenous drug users on the other hand, the sharing of needles necessitates the spread from an infected user to an uninfected one (Luker). I have learned a lot from the book. First, I have actually known how ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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