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Summary

In Patient Zero, Richard A. McKay presents a carefully documented and sensitively written account of the life of Gaetan Dugas, a gay man whose skin cancer diagnosis in 1980 took on very different meanings as the HIV/AIDS epidemic developed - and who received widespread posthumous infamy when he was incorrectly identified as patient zero of the North American outbreak.

McKay shows how investigators from the US Centers for Disease Control inadvertently created the term amid their early research into the emerging health crisis; how an ambitious journalist dramatically amplified the idea in his determination to reframe national debates about AIDS; and how many individuals grappled with the notion of patient zero-adopting, challenging, and redirecting its powerful meanings - as they tried to make sense of and respond to the first 15 years of an unfolding epidemic. With important insights for our interconnected age, Patient Zero untangles the complex process by which individuals and groups create meaning and allocate blame when faced with new disease threats. What McKay gives us here is myth-smashing revisionist history at its best.

©2017 The University of Chicago (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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  • Christopher Huertas
  • 01-03-21

Great listen.

Very detailed and informative book on the early AIDS epidemic.

Listen or read "And The Band Played On" before, as this book refers to and clarifies a lot of the information from that book and you'll get a better picture of the struggle people with the disease had to deal with.

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  • ACASSIDY
  • 12-02-19

Whoa! Lots of Info!

I couldn't get very far into this book. It has SO much information on things other than patient zero. It was hard to follow. I got through the forward and half of chapter 1 and had to keep rewinding to revisit what i just heard. In my opinion, it has way too much-unwanted information.

The narrator of this book, however, is fantastic.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-10-18

Mix bag for me

Let me first say, I never bought that Gaetan Dugas was "Patient Zero". So I'm glad that the truth about this myth has been corrected.

That being said, I felt the book was on a constant wash, rinse , repeat. The author clearly is no fan of Randy Shilts. I get it, Mr. McKay, you dislike Mr. Shilts.

Now I did learn a lot more about Randy Shilts' life that I had no idea about. I will admit makes me see him in a different light. It's a mixture of pity and disappointment.

On a side note: The narrator is fantastic. I'll have to look for more books with his narration.