28 Stories of AIDS in Africa by Stephanie Nolen
Nonfiction 5 challenge, African Reading Challenge
Twenty eight stories, one for every million people living with HIV/AIDS. Nolen's book has certainly raised my awareness of the disaster in Africa and how it could have been prevented or, at the very least, lessened with quicker action, and more concern and money.
Each chapter looks at a different person, a different country, a different aspect of the crisis. From the orphans to the grandparents to the activists to the prostitutes. From the civil war, to the lack of help, to the pharmaceutical companies and the generic drugs, to the lack of research into the aspects of AIDS that affects Africans more, your heart will be broken twenty eight times. Time and again, the shame and denial that we see here in North America prevented people in Africa from getting the timely help they needed, for the few where health care and ARVs are available. Awareness and help are needed now.
In the words of Nelson Mandela: In the face of the grave threat posed by HIV/AIDS, we have to rise above our differences and combine our efforts to save our people. History will judge us harshly if we fail to do so now, and right now.
Nolen's passion for the continent and the people comes through, and her method of putting a human face on each issues she tackles makes this book a great read. Disturbing, and upsetting, and frustrating, but a great read.