Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sensing Light

Sensing Light: A Novel

by Mark A. Jacobson
Published July 5th, 2016 by Ulysses Press
ISBN 161243570X
Paperback, 288 pages

March 1979, a young street hustler in San Francisco stumbles into an emergency room with lungs so congested he can barely breathe. Seen by a perplexed young medical resident, the patient becomes the first of many thousands to die from a yet-to- be named plague. Sensing Light is raw, compelling novel that reveals the personal and professional lives of men and women on the front lines of the emerging AIDS epidemic.

This breakout book by Mark Jacobson, a leading Bay Area HIV/AIDS physician, follows three people from vastly different backgrounds who are thrown together by a shared urgency to discover what is killing so many men in the prime of their lives. Kevin is a gay medical resident from working-class Boston who has just moved to San Francisco in search of acceptance of his sexual identity. Herb, a middle-aged supervising physician at one of the nation’s toughest hospitals, is struggling with his own emotional rigidity. And Gwen, a divorced mother raising a teenage daughter, is seeking a sense of self and security while endeavoring to complete her medical training.

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I really enjoyed this book it might be fiction, but the author was a doctor who was on the front lines when AIDS hit so it read more like nonfiction. Therefore, you learn a lot about how the disease started, the research for finding medications to treat it, also how researchers found how to test people for the disease. In Addition to, the politics behind the disease, how it was first called GRID = Gay-Related Immune Deficiency to changing it to HIV and AIDS.

The doctors who were on the front lines when the disease first presented itself were very invested in every aspect of this disease. These characters are highly developed and as a reader, you can feel how caring they are. This book is an amazing learning experience for people who love science or just like learning new things. Additionally, it explains what diseases presented first in patients such as Pneumocystis and Cryptococcal meningitis, how AIDs genetically replicated itself in an infected person's body, including how the disease was originally medically treated. One of the best books that I have ever read about HIV/AIDS.  It is an intriguing, well-written book.
Mark Jacobson, a professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco and attending physician at San Francisco General Hospital, began his internship in 1981, just days after the CDC first reported a mysterious, fatal disease affecting gay men.

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