Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #10: Remember AIDS?


AIDS isn’t over, but far too many think it is. Not everyone is haunted by remembering the dying, the friends gone gaunt, the lesions appearing, the artists dropping out of sight, the funerals, the lie-filled obituaries, the terrified waits for results of blood tests taken by nurses wearing masks and triple gloves.

From a New York Public Library exhibit on AIDS:

In the United States, more than 600,000 people have died from the disease, and over one million others are living with HIV, many not knowing that they contracted the virus. HIV continues to disproportionately affect minority communities, people who inject drugs, the incarcerated, and transgender people, and new infections are at epidemic rates in poorer urban areas. Men who have sex with men, particularly those in the African American and Latino communities, followed by African American and Latina women, currently have the highest rates of HIV infection in the United States. Worldwide, as many as 30 million people have died of AIDS, and more than 34 million are living with the virus, with over two million new infections annually. Despite scientific advances, most do not have access to treatment. The majority of cases are in sub-Saharan Africa, where one in every 20 people is now living with HIV. For women aged 15 to 44, AIDS is the leading cause of death worldwide. Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) have asserted the need for prevention and treatment on a global scale, and insist that the response to HIV be grounded in human rights and gender equality.

AIDS isn’t just yesterday, it’s now.

Remember, remember.

Reading Mixtape Header


  1. AIDS in New York: The First Five Years by Jean Ashton
  2. Body Counts: A Memoir of Activism, Sex, and Survival by Sean Strub
  3. The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination by Sarah Schulman
  4. Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir by Paul Monette
  5. Living with HIV and Dying with AIDS: Diversity, Inequality, and Human Rights in the Global Pandemic (Global Health) by Lesley Doyal, Len Doyal
  6. The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, and (HIV) Positive by Marvelyn Brown
  7. And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic, 20th-Anniversary Edition by Randy Shilts
  8. Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors by Susan Sontag
  9. The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels and the Business of AIDS by Elizabeth Pisani
  10. Workable Sisterhood: The Political Journey of Stigmatized Women with HIV/AIDS by Michele Tracy Berger
  11. 28 Stories of AIDS in Africa by Stephanie Nolen
  12. The Secret Epidemic: The Story of AIDS and Black America by Jacob Levenson




Fiction, Poetry, Plays and Anthologies

  1. Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes: Revised and Complete Edition by Tony Kushner
  2. At Risk by Alice Hoffman
  3. The Man with Night Sweats: Poems by Thom Gunn
  4. Nobody Ever Said AIDS: Poems and Stories from Southern Africa by Nobantu Rasebotsa, Meg Samuelson, Kylie Thomas
  5. The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer
  6. Ghost Letters by Richard McCann
  7. In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic by Marie Howe, Michael Klein


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Original logo art by Esme Blegvad.

Anna March’s writing appears regularly in Salon and here at the Rumpus and her work has been widely published including in The New York Times' Modern Love Column, New York Magazine, VQR, Hip Mama and Tin House. Her essay collection, Feminist Killjoy, and novel, The Diary of Suzanne Frank, are both forthcoming and she is at work on two new books. She teaches writing workshops, mentors writers, is active in promoting literary community and is the co-founder of LITFOLKS in LA and DC. She lives in Rehoboth Beach and Los Angeles. Sometimes she has pink hair. Follow her on Twitter @ANNAMARCH or learn more about her at ANNAMARCH.COM. More from this author →