Sunday, December 30, 2007


My sister gave me 28 Stories of AIDS in Africa by Stephanie Nolen for my birthday. I just finished it tonight. Obviously, it's not a cheery book by birthday standards, but I am so glad she gave it to me. I should have read it ages ago, but I was scared it would be just too devastating.

To my surprise, it wasn't devastating. I expected it to introduce me to individual people living and dying with AIDS in Africa. What I didn't expect was how much I would learn from it -- about history, politics, economics, scientific research, culture and gender. Even more, it was a call to action. There is still hope. As Gideon Byamugisha, an HIV positive Anglican priest in Uganda, says, "We know AIDS needs a clinical approach, but that won't succeed if poverty stays the same, literacy stays the same, inequality stays the same. HIV shows us the holes in our relations: how we trade with one another, how we relate as genders, how we deal with one another on governance and politics. Those are the things we have to fix."

This book should be required reading for anyone who can read.

You can donate to the Stephen Lewis Foundation if you want to help.


Don Mills Diva said...

I really want to read that book. I read her features in the Globe and she is a wonderful writer.

Mad Hatter said...

Did you see Sage's review of it at MBT a while back? I devoured quite a bit of it at her place in October. Now I need to track it down to finish it. It really is an amazing book, isn't it?

flutter said...

sounds fascinating, i will add it to the to read list

Lisa b said...

"for anyone who can read" love it!
So true.
I had a prof who used to refer to things like this as required reading to be allowed to live on the planet or something like that.
She is just amazing. I should read this, but like you was scared it would be too upsetting.
I do give to the stephen lewis foundation though.

Beck said...

Oh! That's at the library! I'll get it next Saturday. Happy new year to you!

disa said...