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April 23, 2013

Patient Zero Story Allegedly Benefited And the Band Played On

A new book alleges that Randy Shilts, the late journalist and author, was forced into spotlighting the story of Patient Zero to promote his 1987 book And the Band Played On about the early years of AIDS, Philly.com reports. Band editor Michael Denneny makes the claim in Plane Queer: Labor, Sexuality and AIDS in the History of Male Flight Attendants by Philadelphia University historian Phil Tiemeyer. Of the 630 pages of Band, only about a dozen pages mention flight attendant Gaetan Dugas (a.k.a. Patient Zero). Although Shilts said the idea that Dugas was the first person to bring the disease to the United States was “a question of debate,” Denneny claims that he was convinced by the publicist to use the Patient Zero angle to promote Band and that he eventually convinced the reluctant Shilts to go along. Denneny claims he felt he needed to advance that angle because mainstream media had told him they were not going to review the book. The angle succeeded in getting the book reviewed, and it became a best seller.

To read the article, click here.

Search: Randy Shilts, And the Band Played On, Michael Denneny, Patient Zero, Gaetan Dugas, Phil Tiemeyer


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