Love Undetectable: Notes on Friendship, Sex, and Survival

In November of 1996, Andrew Sullivan wrote an article in the New York Times Magazine entitled "When Plagues End" in which he claimed that then-new treatments for the HIV retrovirus had signaled the end of AIDS. The article drew much criticism from activists and health professionals; in Love Undetectable, Sullivan--who is himself living with HIV--elaborates upon his argument, embellishing and embroidering it with nuance and context to make it at once more personal and universal. His thinking about AIDS leads him to a philosophical contemplation on the "causes" of homosexuality in which he discards all of the negative psychological theories, then rejects genetics as well. In the following essay on the nature of friendship and love, Sullivan finds his voice and true topic--using "friendship" as a lens through which he can wed his autobiographical musings and speculative theories on how we, as mortal humans struggling against time and the body, can make sense of the world. Always provocative--the chapters on the plague will still rankle those who see AIDS as an ever-present and growing danger--Love Undetectable proves that Sullivan has a voice and a heart that can reach across the borders of experience and politics. --Michael Bronski