book hack

All The Young Men

Ruth Coker Burks, Kevin Carr O'Leary

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

All the Young Men is the poignant memoir of one of the first straight ally AIDS patient advocates in the Southern United States and her battle for all the young men she helped during the epidemic.


All The Young Men

All The Young Men

by Ruth Coker Burks


Today, a diagnosis of HIV isn't a death sentence anymore. But in 1986, with no treatment and the nascent understanding of HIV and AIDS, people often died within weeks of exhibiting the first symptoms of the disease.

When Ruth Coker Burks walked into the hospital room of a man whose HIV diagnosis meant that fearful medical professionals had refused to care for him, her life changed forever.

Written in collaboration with celebrity memoir specialist Kevin Carr O'Leary, Coker Burks gives an unflinching and honest account of her experiences. Unintentionally, she became one of Arkansas' first straight patient supporters and the price it cost her in the ignorant and bigoted Deep South of the 1980s.

Favorite quote

AIDS was spreading, and people were swearing you could get it from gays sitting on toilet seats and using swimming pools, from doorknobs and licked stamps on envelopes in the mail.

- Ruth Coker Burks

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