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The Journalist of Castro StreetThe Life of Randy Shilts$
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Andrew E. Stoner

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042485

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042485.001.0001

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The Sum of Zero

The Sum of Zero

(p.167) Chapter 11 The Sum of Zero
The Journalist of Castro Street

Andrew E. Stoner

University of Illinois Press

Shilts and book editor Michael Denneny make controversial decisions about how to get And the Band Played On properly promoted and reviewed. The New York Post’s screaming headline about “Patient Zero” sets in motion worldwide publicity for the concept that one man, Gaetan Dugas, was responsible for spreading AIDS in North America. Shilts’s review of Dr. William Darrow’s cluster study of gay men in Los Angeles proves faulty, although mainstream journalism quickly goes with the “Patient Zero” concept and Shilts is quickly cast as a national expert on HIV-AIDS. Shilts unveils his “AIDS was allowed to happen” posit. A subsequent review of Shilts’s work is mostly critical, particularly from LGBT sources who fault Shilts for allegedly scapegoating Dugas.

Keywords:   Patient Zero, Gaetan Dugas, And the Band Played On, book reviews, St. Martin’s Press, Michael Denneny, Typhoid Mary concept, New York Post, HIV-AIDS transmission, cluster study, Los Angeles Cluster Study, Dr. William Darrow, Dr. Marcus Conant, 60 Minutes, Harry Reasoner, Air Canada, Quebec, GRID, Dr. James Curran, storytelling elements, gay flight attendants, promiscuity, Castro Street Fair, New York Times, best-seller list, James Michener, Dr. Robert Gallo

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