Creator Breakdown: Averted. Randy Shilts was aware that he had probably received the virus and went to his doctor for a test. He told his doctor not to notify him of the results until after his book was complete, because he was fearful that an HIV-positive diagnosis would affect his then-ongoing writing process. In 1987, after he completed and submitted his book, he learned that he was indeed HIV-positive. Shilts died six years after the book was published (and a year after an HBO TV adaptation of his book aired).