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Educate Yourself About HIV and AIDS

A Tablet reading and listening list for World AIDS Day

Jonathan Zalman
December 01, 2016

Today is World AIDS Day, an annual event during which we can show support for the over 36 million people living with HIV and AIDS, remember those who have died from the virus, and continue to raise awareness.

A good place to begin would be to listen to Tablet’s executive editor Wayne Hoffman, who will be talking about AIDS and the arts this afternoon on “1 on 1 with Larry Flick,” 3-4 p.m. ET on Entertainment Weekly Radio, Sirius XM channel 105. And here are a number of articles from our archives that delve into the topic, from an Israeli electronica duo to a doctor in working at an AIDS clinic in Alabama and Falsettos composer William Finn.

Out There, by Wayne Hoffman

Nostalgia is in the air when listening to Israeli pop star Ivri Lider and his dance-music duo The Young Professionals, whose cover of “Blood Makes Noise,” one of the best pop song’s ever about AIDS, inspires a writer to dance into the wee hours of the night.

A story about Dr. Michael Saag, who unexpectedly found himself at the center of a scramble to understand where the AIDS virus came from, and hinder its progression. Soon, he’d open a comprehensive AIDS treatment center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

After my best friend died of complications from HIV, I avoided synagogue and found sanctuary in my mother’s house instead. And that’s where I found a space to atone, and a path to move forward.

Tony Award-winning Falsettos composer William Finn on bar mitzvahs, the AIDS crisis, and his very first show—in Hebrew.

The End of Exile, by David Edleson

When I was ordained as a rabbi, I felt ignored and misunderstood as a gay man in the midst of the AIDS crisis. It took me 25 years to come home.

A Cold Case, by Marco Roth

A writer tries recall the exact moment his father told him he was dying, which soon became a memoir (see next item).

A review of the haunting memoir The Scientists: A Family Romance by Marco Roth, which put an Upper West Side family’s secrets—including AIDS—under the microscope.

One More Panel for the Quilt, by Neil Goldstein Glick

A writer loses a dear friend—an activist who’d become the face of HIV in Russia—to AIDS.

For World AIDS Day in 2014, a doctor, her daughters, their late dad, and his work in Africa.

Testing My Faith, by Matt Goodman

I’d left Orthodoxy. But as I waited for HIV test results, I looked to God and the Talmud for comfort.

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.