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In the mid-1980s, a simple number and letter designated a ward on the fifth floor of San Francisco General Hospital, the first in the country designed specifically to deal with AIDS patients. The unit’s nurses’ emphasis on humanity and consideration of holistic well-being was a small miracle in the midst of a devastating crisis and the ensuing panic about risk and infection. The story of 5B is stirringly told through first-person testimony of the nurses who built it, their patients, loved ones, and the hospital staff who volunteered, resulting in a bittersweet and moving monument to a pivotal moment in American epidemiology, San Francisco history and a celebration of quiet heroes worthy of remembrance and renewed recognition.