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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, 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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  comments 1 - 2 (of 2 total)    

Brandon Judell, New York, 2013-08-24 12:45:36
Isn't this a rewritten version of this article? In the original, if I recall correctly POZ accused Randy Shilts and Michael Denneny of colluding to fool America about Patient Zero. Here and in the article, it doesn't state that at all. I'm glad now that two men who have changed America for the better have had their reputations salvaged. POZ must be more careful in the future to avoid libel suits. Being cleverly snippy doesn't always pay off. I hope the writer has been reprimanded.

Jeton Ademaj, Harlem, NYC, 2013-04-24 12:15:33
Randy Shilts name is now MUD...requiring we drop only a single letter! a pure lie wrapped in sanctimony and propelled by opportunism is the entire essence of his contribution. behold the self-congratulation! the self-justification! these men calling Gaetan Dugas a "sociopath" should have looked in the mirror...there was no "Patient Zero", but there sure was a "Journalist Zero". His name was Randy Shilts. now, can we see his defenders make a show of themselves...?

comments 1 - 2 (of 2 total)    

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