“It was the early 1980s in Palm Springs, Calif., and George Sonsel had lost 35 friends who were in the primes of their lives over the previous few years. Doctors said they died from opportunistic infections that affected the gastrointestinal system and pneumonia. Many called the disease GRID, short for Gay-Related Intestinal Disorder, before the CDC called it AIDS in the fall of 1982.

A licensed therapist, Sonsel and a handful of other professionals, including a certified public accountant, registered nurse, marketer, and infectious disease specialist, decided to help ease the burden wrought by the epidemic by surreptitiously making themselves available to patients — many of whom were dealing with issues beyond the disease’s physical afflictions…”

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