Half the people in the United States who are diagnosed with HIV are now African American. Through the eyes of those on the front lines of the crisis, journalist Jacob Levenson tells a story of race and public health that spans fifty years and reveals how AIDS has become one of the leading killers of young black men and women. Medical researcher Mindy Fullilove investigates the epidemic’s links to crack cocaine, the Bronx fires, and national health policy. Desiree Rushing must reconcile her crack addiction and HIV infection with the fate of her city, family, and the black church. David deShazo, a white AIDS worker in Alabama, fights to prevent the American South from becoming the epidemic’s new epicenter. And Mario Cooper, a gay, infected son of the black elite confronts the boundaries of American race politics in Washington, D.C. Seamlessly interweaving personal stories with national policy, Levenson indelibly captures this devastating epidemic and illuminates its potential to expand our understanding of race in America.