Anne-christine d’Adesky Books Films

Books / Films

The Pox Lover is available from the University of Wisconsin Press and wherever books are sold. Find an independent book seller near you.

To examine The Pox Lover for possible course use see the University of Wisconsin Press Course Books page.

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The Pox Lover: An Activist’s Decade in New York and Paris

Called “a masterpiece” by Michelle Tea, The Pox Lover is a personal history of the turbulent 1990s in New York City and Paris by Anne-christine d’Adesky, a pioneering American AIDS journalist, lesbian activist, and daughter of French-Haitian elites. In an account that is by turns searing, hectic, and funny, d’Adesky remembers “the poxed generation” of AIDS — their lives, their battles, and their determination to find love and make art in the heartbreaking years before lifesaving protease drugs arrived.

D’Adesky takes us through a fast-changing East Village: squatter protests and civil disobedience lead to all-night drag and art-dance parties, the fun-loving Lesbian Avengers organize dyke marches, and the protest group ACT UP stages public funerals. Traveling as a journalist to Paris, an insomniac d’Adesky trolls the Seine, encountering waves of exiles fleeing violence in the Balkans, Haiti, and Rwanda. As the last of the French Nazis stand trial and the new National Front rises in the polls, d’Adesky digs into her aristocratic family’s roots in Vichy France and colonial Haiti. This is a testament with a message for every generation: grab at life and love, connect with others, fight for justice, keep despair at bay, and remember.



Pills Profits Protest (Outcast Films, 2003)


Pills Profits Protest is a documentary about global AIDS treatment activism. It examines the national and international grass roots response to an epidemic that has already overshadowed the Black Death in terms of human lives lost. The demand for access to affordable treatment for 40 million people living with HIV, most of whom live in poor countries, represents one of the most successful political movements of contemporary history. This documentary examines critical junctures in the battle for access to HIV treatment as the poorest and most marginalized individuals confront larger powers, including governments, corporate bodies and a multinational drug industry that is motivated by profit. The fight for AIDS drugs is taking place in tandem with a growing anti-globalization movement; the latter provides a backdrop for examining AIDS through a lens of poverty, socioeconomic injustice and human rights. At the heart of this documentary is a thorny question: Can the world afford universal HIV treatment? At what cost? What will be the global cost if we fail to treat and save 40 million people now? Pills, Profits and Protest are the three thematic touchstones of our film, each reflecting an important aspect of the current battle. Behind this movement are people, personalities and lives. Our film weaves their personal stories with a larger chronicle of history-in-the-making.