Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Public Health

AIDS Activist: Michael Lynch and the Politics of Community

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Public Health

AIDS Activist: Michael Lynch and the Politics of Community

Article excerpt

AIDS Activist: Michael Lynch and the Politics of Community Ann Silversides, Toronto, ON: Between the Lines, 2003;273 pp., $24.95

Ann Silversides has written a remarkable book about Michael Lynch, AIDS and the activist gay community of Toronto in the 1980s. Lynch was a leader with organizations such as the Body Politic, the AIDS Committee of Toronto and AIDS Action Now! The book is based on Lynch's diaries and is full of quotes and other references, poems, photos, as well as extensive footnotes and a full index.

Michael Lynch chose to apply his critical thinking and writing to many aspects of AIDS. Included in his scope were health care and public health organizations such as the Red Cross and casey House. He expressed particular criticism about the Federal Centre for AIDS for the lack of availability of experimental drugs. As a public health practitioner, I found reading this book was not always comfortable or easy.

In those early days of AIDS, there were many uncertainties, and actions taken -such as asking all gay men to refrain from donating blood - were sometimes blunt. Silversides has taken a balanced and compassionate approach, using the voices of Lynch, his son, lovers and friends, many of whom die as the book moves through the eighties. …

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