Wednesday, May 14, 2008

BOOK: 28 Stories of AIDS in Africa by Stephanie Nolen

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.


  1. This sounds wonderful, do the profits from sales go toward AIDS research? You should read Race Against Time it's another great book about the issue.

  2.'s sounds like a fantastic book, but one that I'd have to be in the right frame of mind for. Someone of those truly heartbreaking tales are a bit much for me!

  3. This is one that sounds like would interest me a lot. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, I'll be looking into it for sure.

  4. aaron - I didn't notice any big announcement, but in the epilogue, it says proceeds from the sale of the book were used to help a prostitute get off the street. There are agencies listed that the author felt were doing good work. Stephen Lewis is quoted on the cover "... the best book ever written about AIDS"

    stephanie - I would read 1 or 2 stories a day, just small doses.

    maw books - I thought it was well worth while to read, and I dont' usually read those types of books.

  5. Sounds like an important albiet difficult read. This is definitely a subject that I could be more aware about (well, also Africa in general)


Thanks for commenting, so nice of you to visit.

(I'll try without the letters for a while - so please dont be a spammer! Let's try no anonymous users)