Bright Lights, Dark Days
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Published in: July-August 2014 issue.


Hold Tight GentlyHold Tight Gently: Michael Callen, Essex Hemphill, and the Battlefield of AIDS
by Martin Duberman
The New Press. 368 pages, $27.95


SINCE THE LATE 1990s, I have seen the smiling faces all over town. Not my fellow D.C. residents—generally a serious and suspicious lot—but the faces of drug company actors in ads for the latest AIDS medicines. Whether beaming from the sides of bus stops or riding bikes through the pages of the local gay newspapers, these actors convey one message: Look how happy we are on the latest drug cocktail. Look how little you will need to adjust your lifestyle because you have this virus. Look how much control you have over AIDS.

I suspect Martin Duberman also has these ads in mind in his latest book, Hold Tight Gently

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