28: Stories of Aids In Africa

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28: Stories of Aids In Africa African
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Putting a human face on the ravages of AIDS across Africa, an award-winning journalist offers twenty-eight vivid profiles of African men, women, and children caught up in every aspect of the AIDS crisis and looks at the relationship among the AIDS epidemic, famine, and the violent internecine conflicts across the continent. 50,000 first printing.

Editorial Reviews

Despite attempts by aid groups and local and Western governments, the AIDS epidemic in eastern and southern Africa rages on. These distinctive but complementary books aim to explain why AIDS in Africa has proved to be such an intractable problem. Epstein, a molecular biologist who has worked as a researcher, writer, and consultant on AIDS in Africa, explores the nature and underlying causes of the epidemic there. She analyzes why AIDS is so prevalent in Africa, focusing on the political and economic changes that ignited the epidemic as well as the social and sexual customs that fuel it. To Epstein's mind, there is plenty of blame to go around, e.g., concurrent sexual relationships, lack of women's rights, and failed political leadership. She also turns a critical eye to various attempts to slow the epidemic, contrasting the success of early public education campaigns in Uganda with other, less successful attempts. She concludes that the most promising efforts are locally developed projects that address risky behaviors openly and pragmatically, in ways that reflect local cultures and foster a spirit of mutual support and communication.

While Epstein focuses on the social, political, economic, and sexual elements, Nolen (Africa bureau chief, Toronto's Globe and Mail; Promised the Moon ) gives the epidemic a human face—more precisely, 28 human faces, one for each million Africans estimated to be infected with HIV. Ill healthcare workers and activists are portrayed along with ordinary Africans whose lives have been forever changed by AIDS. Nolen tells their stories simply and elegantly, blending their personal experiences with relevant background information about the epidemic. Never sentimental, she lets the people and their experiences speak for themselves. The result is both an informative and a powerful read, which will help Western readers connect personally with a crisis that too often seems remote. Though these books cover similar ground, each makes a unique, valuable contribution to the literature on this important topic. Both are highly recommended for all collections.—Janet A. Crum, Oregon Health & Science Univ. Lib., Portland

[Page 110]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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