This fall, school yourself by brushing up on AIDS 101 with a stack of new texts.

The AIDS Crisis Is Ridiculous and Other Writings, 1986–2003
By Gregg Bordowitz
(The MIT Press)
$35, 285 pages

The artist and old-school activist unearths two decades of his essays exploring life as an HIVer—from his youthful AIDS fears to an individual’s role in the worldwide pandemic.

Melancholia and Moralism: Essays on AIDS and Queer Politics
By Douglas Crimp
(The MIT Press)
$11.95, 320 pages

Now in paperback, Crimp’s essays pulse with radical politics. The HIVer warns that ’80s AIDS losses and waning activism have caused many gay men to align with an antigay moral majority.

HIV and Me: Firsthand Information for Coping With HIV and AIDS
By Timothy Critzer
(Firsthand Books)
$16.95, 224 pages

This handbook—which considers everything from family disclosure to holistic therapy—will hold your hand toward self-acceptance and offers financial, health and social pointers, too.

The Secret Epidemic: The Story of AIDS and Black America
By Jacob Levenson
(Pantheon Books)
$25, 320 pages

Levenson dives into the racial chasm by asking black Americans affected by HIV to speak out—including anecdotes spanning San Francisco to the South Bronx, rape victims to drug users.

Breaking the Conspiracy of Silence: Christian Churches and the Global AIDS Crisis
By Donald E. Messer
(Augsburg Fortress Publishers)
$15, 192 pages

United Methodist theologian Donald Messer preaches to Christians on how to stop AIDS, advocating for both condoms and compassion.