Author’s Night – The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience

Perry N. HalkitisPlease join us on Wednesday, March 19 at 6 pm to hear NYAM Fellow Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH, discuss his latest book, The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience. The book has just been named a finalist for a 2014 Lamda Literary Award in the biography/memoir category. To RSVP, e-mail Donna Fingerhut.

Dr. Halkitis had several motivations for writing this book, as he explains:

First, I wanted to create a historical document of the unique experiences that these men—the men of the AIDS Generation—lived through—people who lived through the darkest moments of the epidemic in the first two decades of AIDS. Second, I wanted to demonstrate the resilience of my generation of gay men and move away from research that is based on deficit models that are too often evident in the literature.  In fact, somehow the men of the AIDS Generation survived and thrived. It would be simple to say it was pure luck that they remained healthy long enough for the development of antiviral therapies. But I believe what I learned from these stories is that there is something greater at work here. These men were able to attend and care for the whole selves—social, biological, and emotional selves—which empowered them to get through to 1996, the turning point of the epidemic, and which is demonstrative of resilience and not deficit. Third, the way that the men of the AIDS Generation managed the disease helps to inform how we can work with all people who are living with HIV and other people living with challenging chronic diseases.

Dr. Halkitis is professor of applied psychology and public health and population health (Steinhardt School and Langone School of Medicine), director of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior & Prevention Studies, and associate dean for academic affairs (Global Institute of Public Health) at New York University. He is also an affiliate of NYU’s Center for AIDS Research and Center for Drug Use and HIV Research. Dr. Halkitis has conducted HIV behavior research for the last 20 years, examining HIV in relation to other health problems.