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“Randy Shilts and Laurie Garrett told the story of the HIV/AIDS epidemic through the late 1980s and the early 1990s, respectively. Now journalist-historian-activist Emily Bass tells the story of US engagement in HIV/AIDS control in sub-Saharan Africa. There is far to go on the path, but Bass tells us how far we’ve come.” —Sten H. Vermund, professor and dean, Yale School of Public Health
 
With his 2003 announcement of a program known as PEPFAR, George W. Bush launched an astonishingly successful American war against a global pandemic. PEPFAR played a key role in slashing HIV cases and AIDS deaths in sub-Saharan Africa, leading to the brink of epidemic control. Resilient in the face of flatlined funding and political headwinds, PEPFAR is America’s singular example of how to fight long-term plague—and win.
 
To End a Plague is not merely the definitive history of this extraordinary program; it traces the lives of the activists who first impelled President Bush to take action, and later sought to prevent AIDS deaths at the whims of American politics. Moving from raucous street protests to the marbled halls of Washington and the clinics and homes where Ugandan people living with HIV fight to survive, it reveals an America that was once capable of real and meaningful change—and illuminates imperatives for future pandemic wars. Exhaustively researched and vividly written, this is the true story of an American moonshot.

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Reader Reviews

Praise

“Readers with a background in the subject will consider this essential.”—Publishers Weekly
“With 25 years of experience as an AIDS activist, journalist Bass makes a vivid book debut with a detailed recounting of a prevention program that effectively stemmed AIDS in Africa…A timely history of successful government intervention.”—Kirkus Reviews
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Meet The Author: Emily Bass

Emily Bass has spent more than twenty years writing about and working on HIV/AIDS in America and East and Southern Africa. Her writing has appeared in numerous books and publications including Foreign Policy, TheWashington Post, The Lancet, Esquire, and n+1, and she has received a notable mention in Best American Essays. A lifelong social justice activist, Bass has served as an external expert for the World Health Organization and a member of the What Would an HIV Doula Do collective. She is the recipient of a Fulbright journalism fellowship and a Martin Duberman Visiting Research Fellowship from the New York Public Library. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

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