AUCT 140, Epidemics and AIDS, Spring 2012

Attendance: Students who miss more than three classes, without a bonafide excuse and/or prior notification of me, will be administratively withdrawn from the course. There will be a sign-up sheet passed around in every class. Don't miss it; that is the official attendance record! If you did not sign it, you were absent.

No operating electronic communication devices are allowed in the classroom (even if they are set on Mute).

Texts: There are two required books and additional materials on Blackboard:


Shilts – And the Band Played On

Berlatsky - Opposing Viewpoints: HIV/AIDS

The lion’s share of the text materials and readings are on Blackboard

All announcements and assignments, including the PowerPoint lectures, will be posted on Blackboard, so be sure to check it regularly—at least every day is not unreasonable.

Reading Assignments: Reading assignments should be completed prior to the next class. The readings listed below are referenced by the first letter of the author’s/ editor’s surname.

From my web page, there are links to a select group of other related web pages. Throughout the semester, you should make a habit of consulting some of these sites for news and updates.

Approximate Syllabus

Week of




Course Intro; AIDS Open Discussion



History of Epidemics and



1/25, 1/30


Race and Medicine; S: III


Normal Cell

B: 1.1-1.6, 1.8



B: 2.1-2.5; S : IV


Exam 1


Host Defenses and Immunity


Retroviruses and HIV and Rise of HIV

S: V


Testing and Treatment

S: VI; AIDS and Drug Laws


Emerging Infectious Diseases

B: 3.1, 3.2, 3.4; AIDS and Drug Laws



Tba, B:3.5, 3.6


Exam 2


AIDS-Legal Issues

HIV and Civil Rights; S: VII


Media and AIDS



AIDS Advertising Videos

B: 4.1-4.5


Society’s Response to AIDS



International Issues



Biological Warfare

DA Henderson Interview


Exam 3


The subject of this course is science and society, with the emphasis on science. The science is absolutely cutting-edge. What you learn at the beginning of this semester is very likely to change by the end of the course, if not sooner. More has been learned about infectious diseases in the last 30 years than was known in all previous recorded history. That's not all; the treatments are changing from month-to-month and even week-to-week. This is your opportunity to see science in action—today, not a hundred, not fifty, and not even twenty years ago. The results will undoubtedly affect a great many people, some of whom you may now know or are yet to meet.

Course Goals

1.    Develop an understanding of epidemics and their history, how we study them, how we respond to them, their effects on societies, and their political implications; the human cell; causative agents, symptoms, medical care for HIV disease and related opportunistic infections.

2.    Learn how scientists think and science progresses on a very short-term basis.

3.    Learn the most current facts about STDs and HIV/ AIDS, in particular.

4.    Learn some of the basics of human biology and immunology.

5.    Understand the pathophysiology of HIV/ AIDS and risk behaviors.

6.    Learn our role in the AIDS epidemic.

7.    Involve all of us in the AIDS epidemic.

8.    Have each person teach others about the AIDS epidemic and know why education is critical to our future.


Other Fascinating Reading

         Burkett - The Gravest Show on Earth; a dated and cynical view of HIV/AIDS by an historian turned reporter.

         Garrett - The Coming Plague; older; an apocalyptic compendium; worth looking for in the remainder bins.

         McNeil - Plagues and Peoples; the seminal work in the field.

         Miller, Engelberg, & Broad - Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War; interesting and moderately current, but take it with a grain of salt because Judith Miller is an unfiltered conduit for government propaganda.

         Peters & Olshaker - Virus Hunter: Thirty Years of Battling Hot Viruses around the World; description by one of the prime players, very personal.

         Preston - Devil in the Freezer; an interesting (and scary) update on smallpox.

         Rotello - Sexual Ecology; a gay male's charge to the gay community that has stirred some controversy. You may want to read it and enter the discussion.

         Stein – The Power of Plagues; well-written and moderately technical.

         Wills - Yellow Fever, Black Goddess: The Coevolution of People and Plagues; well written, and does not shy away from the technical details, some of which are left unexplained.

         Wolfe – The Viral Storm, The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age: a discussion of coming epidemic diseases. Scary!


Who am I?: My name is Paul Bugl; my email address is Because I am an adjunct, I have no office, no University phone, and no office hours (although I usually hang around for a while after class).