In the early 1980s, doctors sounded the alarm. A mysterious new disease–acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS–was spreading around the world. While many of the first AIDS patients were gay men, no one seemed to be immune from the deadly blood-borne disease.
Researchers set to work to discover what was causing AIDS. They suspected a virus. Two teams of scientists–one in the United States and one in France–worked tirelessly to identify the virus and to develop a blood test to detect it. The news on April 23, 1984, that the U.S. team, led by Robert Gallo at the National Cancer Institute, had isolated the virus was a cause for celebration. But in Paris, France, Luc Montagnier and his team at the Pasteur Institute were furious and frustrated. They had uncovered the AIDS virus, they claimed, and now Gallo was taking credit for their discovery.
The battle over who would be recognized for discovering the AIDS virus is a complex and compelling story, filled with mystery, deception, and hope. It involves sophisticated microbiology, the coveted Nobel Prize in Medicine, big egos, and great amounts of money. In this book, author Stuart Kallen chronicles this riveting human tale about a bitter scientific rivalry.