In today's session, I'll tell you about three books that are suggested reading for this course. They are not required, there won't be quiz questions about them, but I'm introducing them now at be, at the beginning of the course because some of you will be able to read them during our time together. If you do have time to read them, I know what you will learn from them, and I know this course itself will be richer for you. I'll take a few minutes today to describe the books. Eben, even if you find that you can't read them, my comments will, nevertheless, touch on major thought, themes that you will encounter in this course. So we, even if you don't read the books, this may be a useful part of my introduction to our course. We Are All the Same by James Wooten, a journalist, is about a little South African boy, Nkosi Johnson who had AIDS. He successfully fought his exclusion from his local school, insisting that we are all the same, whether or not we have HIV or AIDS. Nkosi and his adoptive mother, Gail Johnson, opened Nkosi's Haven, a home for HIV positive children and their mothers. Because of the stigma against HIV positive people, Nkosi's Haven was a rare, welcoming environment for people who were otherwise shunned and neglected. And Nkosi's story deals with a recurring theme of the course, stigma. But it also touches upon another topic that we will be visiting repeatedly, political leadership in the epi, epidemic, and Nkosi was a voice for sanity. When the South African government, under President Thabo Mbeki, refused to accept reality, and prevented many AIDS victims from getting the life-saving drugs that they needed, the result was many unnecessary deaths, and many avoidable HIV infections. So Nkosi's is also a story of an activist citizen confronting destructive and unwise public policies. The book begins with a brief history of racial oppression in South Africa. It makes crystal clear that racist policies determined the shape of South Africa's epidemic, the worst in the world. So this short book touches on major themes, stigma, activism, which in some cases like this one, means personal heroism, and probably most importantly the issue of who lives and who dies is often determined by economic, social, and political factors. The second book is a story of adult romantic love and death. The lovers of Paul Monette, the author, and his life partner Roger Horwitz who died of AIDS. The book is a day to day account of what it is like to lose someone to AIDS. It also gives detailed pictures of the effects of stigma of the struggles for gay liberation, and of the importance of those struggles. Although AIDS is not a gay disease, the peculiar history of the epidemics progress means that homophobia and gay liberation are essential to the understanding of the history of HIV and AIDS. Paul Monette is brutally honest about the pain and the struggle of losing someone to disease. Borrowed Time by Paul Monette is a beautiful, grueling, sad, inspiring doct, document. In this course we will hear several HIV positive people tell their stories, and others, professionals, observers, activists, will share their points of view with us. But it is, it is easy to forget that the pandemic is made up of individuals and often their suffering. Works of literature, like this book, can keep us in, in touch with the lived experience of the disaster we are studying. In our study of AIDS, we will encounter heroes. Many of them are obscure heroes known only to their circle of colleagues, family, friends, and the people they help. Unknown, obscure heroes are probably the most important kind. But world-famous heroes have their place too. Some of you may have read the third book, Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder. The book is about the amazing work of Dr. Paul Farmer, a brilliant and dedicated physician. He is a famous global hero. Starting in Haiti, Farmer has treated some of the sickest, poorest people in the world. His journey, his struggles, his commitment read like an epic novel. His efforts have expanded to South America, Russia, and Africa. In everything he does, Farmer poses the basic question, should poor people die of diseases like AIDS when rich people are treated for the, the same diseases and go on living? The answer provided by Farmer's life is that health is a human right, and that every human being deserves the highest quality medical care. Dr. Farmer's genius is that he makes his answers plausible. I hope you find the time to read one or more of these books. I've read each of them many times, and each time I go back to them, I learn, I learn more, and I find myself inspired anew. Here are the names and titles for you to refer to.