'An incredible testimony to the darkest hours of Australia's queer history – and the organisation that helped change everything. A story of devastation, resistance and, ultimately, survival, every Australian should know.' — Benjamin Law
Fighting For Our Lives is the inspirational story of communities directly affected by the AIDS crisis. Against a harrowing backdrop of illness and death, fear and anger, hate and discrimination, they bravely took action.
During the darkest years of the epidemic, marginalised communities – mostly gay men, sex workers and people who inject drugs – came together to form organisations that gave them a voice in the corridors of power. They built an unprecedented alliance with politicians and medical experts, a three-way partnership that made Australia's response to AIDS one of the most successful in the world.
Fighting For Our Lives captures the high-stakes drama of this extraordinary period and the stories of the people at the very centre of a life-or-death struggle. It is a gripping read, an important story, and one that must never be forgotten.
'Fighting For Our Lives is an impressive history on the scourge of HIV/AIDS in Australia, and how affected communities came together and forged a remarkable alliance. Nick Cook's exhaustive and meticulous research highlights the extraordinary resilience of these communities and how they literally rose up and fought for their lives.' — Peter FitzSimons
'This book is proof positive that light, hope and courage can grow out of the darkest corners of human experience. ACON emerged in 1980s to give leadership in the Australian struggle against HIV/AIDS. Soon that challenge expanded to a myriad of new controversies: gay rights, drug use, sex work, trans and prisoner experience. Nick Cook chronicles the terrifying early years of the HIV epidemic, identifying heroes and villains. And the story continues to this day to call forth our "better angels".' — The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, Past Justice of the High Court of Australia and Patron of the Kirby Institute
'Fighting for Our Lives is a well-timed reminder of the potential in this country to transcend a climate of hysteria and reactionary public policy in the coordination of humane, evidence-based public health initiatives, backed by medical and scientific experts, and delivered by and for the communities directly affected. Lest we forget.' — Dion Kagan, The Age
'...brings to life the dramatic struggle that marked Australia's response to HIV/AIDS — a tale of illness, death, hate, discrimination, unity, hope and ultimately triumph...This is our origin story and it is ultimately a life-affirming tale of triumph over adversity. This is the best account yet of the community's struggle against AIDS and it should be required reading for all gay men. As Cook writes, this is a story that must never be forgotten.' — Tom Hunter, DNA Reviews