April / May 1994
Randy Shilts Dies at 42
Best-selling AIDS author, reporter
Last month, another voice for people with AIDS, Randy Shilts, died of the disease he helped bring to the fore of national attention. The best-selling author and And the Band Played On and Conduct Unbecoming: Lesbians and Gays in the U.S. Military, Vietnam to the Persian Gulf, Shilts pointed the media's attention to AIDS by recognizing in the early 1980s the importance of the disease as a national health crisis. A reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, Shilts, HIV positive since 1987, never revealed his serostatus until last year for fear of being perceived as an activist. He completed Conduct Unbecoming in a hospital bed, having developed full-blown AIDS in August of 1992.