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Abstract

Did Michel Foucault die of AIDS or did he kill himself? Did he knowingly infect others in the bath houses in San Francisco or was he unaware that he was ill and of how less-than-safe sex could spread the same virus that infected him? What did he know about AIDS/HIV and what do we know about what he knew? Answers to these questions are ambiguous. This is due, in part, to the culture of homosexuality and the cultural response to AIDS/HIV at the time. It is also due to the conflicting reports about what Foucault knew, and when, in the press, in biographies and in a roman á clef that claims to tell the truth about Foucault in fiction. What are the facts in this case and where do we find them? This essay explores how facts became fiction and fiction became fact in the life and death of Michel Foucault.

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