Last fall, at the annual Ontario HIV Treatment Network research conference, New York psychologist Perry Halkitis read excerpts from his recently published book The AIDS Generation — Stories of Survival and Resilience. In it he tells the stories of 15 gay men living with HIV. All are long-term survivors who lived through the dark years of the 1980s and 1990s and are now in middle age. As Halkitis writes:
Each of these men are very much part of the aging HIV cohort, despite a lifetime of never expecting to reach middle age. Each of them has survived and each of them grapples with the social, emotional, and physical manifestations of an aging body. Yet, despite their multitudes of losses and the myriad of challenges they have faced since young adulthood, they have survived, confronting the new challenges created by middle age. If there is one theme running through this book, it is survival, about never giving up.
In the video interview which you can watch below, I asked Perry to tell me about these men, why he wrote about their stories, and why now, and what message he wanted to convey to his readers.
Perry Halkitis: The AIDS Generation, Stories of Survival and Resilience
New York, 2014: Oxford University Press