On March 20, ACT UP, a coalition of HIV/AIDS advocates, organizations, and public health experts, sent a letter to Jonathan Karp, CEO of Simon & Schuster, urging him to reconsider the book deal with AIDS denialist, Rebecca Culshaw.

They wrote, “In the midst of coexisting pandemics and public health outbreaks, we know the dire and deadly consequences of spreading misinformation and denialism. It is disappointing that a book like Culshaw’s is on a roster of your releases in 2023, but you still have a chance to reverse this decision. We are asking you to reconsider this book deal and stop its distribution.”

The Real AIDS Epidemic: How the Tragic HIV Mistake Threatens Us All by Rebecca V. Culshaw is set to be published March 28, 2023 by Simon and Schuster’s distribution client, Skyhorse.

In the letter, ACT UP explained that Culshaw’s thesis is that HIV does not conclusively cause AIDS, rather that it was a mistake made in the 1980s and has since never been corrected. They further their letter with evidence that contradicts Culshaw’s thesis, and explain that misinformation and denialism cause great harm to HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, and treatment.

“By releasing an AIDS denialist book, Simon & Schuster would be encouraging vulnerable people to ignore medical directions and to stop their medications,” the coalition wrote. “Which is dangerous to their health and is likely to lead to a higher amount of virus in their bodies.”

The letter was signed by over 100 organizations and public health advocates.

According to Publishers Weekly, Culshaw put out a post that doesn’t deny the AIDS epidemic, rather “a plea to return informed consent to patients.”

ACT UP NY demanded that Simon & Schuster immediately end plans for distribution of Culshaw’s book, re-assess future releases to ensure other books do not cause damage to public health, and for S&S to create a public health working group to assure community members that this will not happen again.

This is not the first time Skyhorse has published controversial content by problematic individuals. This upcoming summer, they plan to publish Detransition, a memoir by Oli London who is notorious for his ethnic plastic surgeries to go from an Englishman to Korean in order to look like Jimin, a South Korean Pop Singer and member of BTS. Skyhorse has also published Woody Allen’s memoir, Zero Gravity, as well as The Great Reset by Alex Jones.

As of March 28, S&S have not issued a statement. though they removed the book from their website. In response to Simon & Schuster’s silence, ACT UP protested on March 27th outside of of the publisher’s Manhattan office.

“It’s easy to say that fringe opinions can’t attract an audience after we’ve made such immense progress and have taken revolutionary steps to preventing, treating, and curing HIV/AIDS” said Jason Rosenberg for ACT UP’s press release. “But who would have thought AIDS deniers would be given platforms as large as these?”