This volume has been five years in the making. In the process, some of the policy applications called for have met with limited success, such as free needle exchange programs in a limited number of American cities, providing condoms to prison inmates, and advertisements that depict same-sex couples. Rather than dating our chapters that deal with such subjects, such policy applications are verifications of the type of research demonstrated here. Furthermore, they indicate the critical need to continue community based research in the various communities threatened by acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)--for these are innumerable and varied in their specific configurations--so that effective programs might be designed, based on the realities lived by the community members and not on the ideological or theoretical bent of central administrators.
The difficulty in completing this volume owes largely to the fact that many contributors were and are immersed in community projects. The most often found excuse for missing chapter deadlines was that writing was lower on the list of priorities than working with people who needed help immediately. That need has not let up. The second was that the time was needed to work on grant applications, since grants were needed to enable the project to continue financially and their writing constantly taxes the time of project administrators. Indeed, some chapters that would have undoubtedly enhanced this volume were not completed, and not included here, for these very reasons. Most notably is one on the San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium, which coordinates clinics in developing AIDS treatment, health maintenance, and prevention programs, based in communities as diverse as the Hispanic, African American, intravenous (IV) drug using, and the homeless. This book stands as a testament to the work of so many who are involved in community based organizations and the sacrifice of their time it took to complete. It is especially an acknowledgment