In their novels, Duplechan and Maupin move not only to frustrate the easy, straightforward progress of a narrative of decline and death but also to distance AIDS from a simple, naturalized association with gay men. Each invokes the population narrative, with its depiction of the spread of AIDS beyond strictly delimited "risk groups," as a way of challenging the notion that AIDS is "the gay plague." The population narrative, however, has a certain homophobic potential-as the Senate arguments of Helms and Chiles make clear-and its invocation, even by anti-homophobic writers, runs certain risks. While both Maupin and Duplechan, by moving to broaden the purview of AIDS to heterosexuals, partly call into question the equation " F A G = AIDS," they also partly reinscribe that equation. Even as these novels raise the possibility of "heterosexual AIDS," they, through certain contradictory impulses, reinforce the idea that gay men are somehow most firmly and genuinely bound to AIDS and its origins.