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28: Stories of AIDS in Africa Paperback – Bargain Price, May 27, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Nolen is effective at piercing the veil which readers inherently draw to insulate themselves from African AIDS carriers. You will meet HIV-positive mothers, grandmothers, and working parents trying to raise kids. You will meet bright, college-educated Africans who were living parallel lives and following career paths not unlike your own, until they were struck by AIDS. Some are church-going Christians, community leaders, or members of the educated elite. Readers interested in playing the 'blame game' will be hard pressed to find promiscuity or other so-called failings among most of the people depicted in the stories. Most of the victims practiced monogamy. You begin to appreciate the fact that we are HIV-negative not because we are morally or intellectually superior, but through the circumstances of fate and luck of being born in the West, which have granted us the 'privilege' of autonomy over our bodies, our sexual and reproductive health, and access to medical care and knowledge.Read more ›
The numbers often lead to "AIDS fatigue" - too many big numbers; surpassing our ability to grasp them. The millions of people infected with HIV/AIDS seem beyond comprehension. After consulting the various estimates, Nolen surmises about 28 million for Africa, approaching the entire population of Canada. Each day, something like 5500 will die of the effects of the infection - two-thirds the population of my community. Every day. All year long. The adage runs: "One death is a tragedy, one million deaths is a statistic." Yet, that "million" represents that many "ones", and each one has a story. Nolen gives us those stories, making one person represent a million others. It's a formidable burden for the afflicted and the writer alike, but Nolen's skill effectively allows the reader to take it all in measured doses.
The opening story is, appropriately, a woman. In Swaziland, women don't turn to activism. They were traditionally forbidden to wear pants until 2003 and the right to own property was only granted in 2006. The little nation has the last monarch in Africa - who has thirteen wives and a fleet of autos. Siphiwe Hlophe had borne children with a man who delayed marriage for years.Read more ›
Nolen successfully uses 28 human experiences of HIV/AIDS, gathered over years of reporting on the issue, to tackle each aspect of the pandemic: orphans, access to treatment, medical research, AIDS in conflict zones and within the military, at-risk groups such as truck drivers and sex workers, African political and international humanitarian approaches to HIV, experiences of children, women, elites, couples, families, activists, and the poorest of the poor. Her approach left me more knowledgable, and intermittently heartbroken and ready for action. The book critically examines the role of each actor in the pandemic, from international to local in the present and since the first recorded infection. It emphasizes the complexity of the crisis, most importantly its intrinsic links to poverty, as well as including a vital section on how you can help.
Effectively, Nolen has written a book that provides an overview of the political, historical, cultural, and economic realities of HIV/AIDS in Africa while constantly drawing the reader back to one fundemental point: HIV/AIDS is first and foremost a human issue. She quotes Nelson Mandela (he is the main character in the 27th story), "Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity; it is an act of justice" (353).
As someone recently embedded in the fight against HIV/AIDS (I am currently writing my undergraduate thesis on prevention programs, and have just returned from 10 months working with two grassroots HIV/AIDS organizations in Ethiopia), I would recommend this to laypeople and experts alike!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I haven't read this book yet, it arrived today, but, I am aware of the epidemic of HIV in Africa, it's not 28, it's over 28 million, I buy hand crafted jewelry made by HIV + women... Read morePublished 2 months ago by klkdruck
Nice montage of stories. Being from South Africa, I was hoping for more local stories--I just read the ones from RSA first and then picked and chose the others.Published 6 months ago by Proudly South African
This book captured my heart and I couldn't stop reading. I read a borrowed copy three years ago while in Swaziland, and it was so compelling that I decided to buy my own copy, so... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Dr. Kitty Bickford
"28 - stories of AIDS in Aprica" is a collection of the very personal stories of heroic AIDS sufferers in Africa, most of whom could not avail themselves of the medications that... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Eleanor Cowan
Very eye opening to the struggles women face because of HIV/AIDSPublished 23 months ago by Paulette White
Wonderfully written to make you want to do simething about AIDS in the world. The individual stories really bring out the different, yet similar cause for the vast spread of AIDS.Published on September 23, 2013 by Lil
I have spent somewhat extensive time in both East and West Africa and I feel that this book not only portrays the way AIDs is stigmatized but also how little some groups actually... Read morePublished on July 5, 2013 by TheReader
This was a great book that tells the story of various people and how they deal with Aids in Africa. It shows how serious the problem is.Published on March 1, 2012 by cropit