How AIDS Activists Challenged America and Saved the FDA from Itself


Driscoll, James, Ph.D., Shakespeare Scholar and AIDS Activist

In this extraordinary history, James Driscoll reveals the untold story of how AIDS activists, by thwarting bureaucratic plans imposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), both saved HIV patients and rescued the FDA itself from a self-inflicted public health catastrophe.

By 1996, accelerated approval of AIDS drug cocktails transformed AIDS from a death sentence to a manageable disease. That approval, however, came only after years of struggle pitting AIDS activists against the hidebound culture of the Food and Drug Administration, which wanted to run lengthy efficacy trials required for full approval and possibly delay the drugs at a cost of tens of thousands of lives.

Driscoll’s courageous efforts, which are an important personal part of the story, navigated conflicts among AIDS activist groups as they struggled with both major American political parties to be heard and respected. He examines the effect of AIDS activism on the LGBT community, its views of itself, and its place in modern American society. Additional materials analyze FDA mistakes, drug pricing, and other contemporary challenges for the LGBTs community.

American Studies, LGBT Studies, Public Health, AIDS, Activism, AIDS Activism, 20th Century America, Food and Drug Administration, Federal Regulation, Drug Trials, Pharmaceuticals, Medicine
Release Date: 
April 1, 2020 Hardcover; February 15, 2021 Paperback
978-1680531404 Hardcover; 978-1680531428 Paperback
$139.95 Hardcover; $29.95 Paperback
Trim Size: 

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