New book chronicles Rotary Club's efforts to combat HIV/AIDS stigma

Author Marlene E. Cowan, past president of the Rotary Club of Los Altos, recently released her book “Stories Behind ‘The Los Altos Story’: Rotary Volunteers Confront HIV/AIDS.”

The Peabody Award-winning documentary “The Los Altos Story” chronicles the story of Dude Angius, whose son died of AIDS in 1989.

Angius set about to confront the stigma he and his family faced, enlisting help from 10 friends in the Rotary Club of Los Altos. They organized the funding, filming and worldwide distribution of “The Los Altos Story” to educate others and encourage compassion for the growing number of families affected by the disease.

Cowan’s book tells how the Rotarians’ efforts changed attitudes about HIV/AIDS around the world.

“This is the full, behind-the-scenes story by a small number of volunteer Rotarians who created the video ‘The Los Altos Story,’ which they hoped would change the world,” Rotarian Dick Henning said. “It is an unforgettable story in the midst of catastrophe and distress, sorrow and uncertainty. With their passion and dedication, they helped change how millions of people perceived those dying of AIDS.”

To order “Stories Behind ‘The Los Altos Story,’” visit

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