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28: Stories of AIDS in Africa Paperback – Apr 15 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada (April 15 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0676978231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0676978230
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 17.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By Ladybug on Nov. 5 2013
Format: Paperback
I found this book on the shelf of a second-hand store. Since I was about to go to Africa on vacation, I decided to read it. What I expected was a dark look into this desease, filled with medical facts and confusion. I feared it would bring me down. What I actually found was someone who wrote with such elegance and selected stories so different from each other that I couldn't put it down. I was surprised at the hope I felt at the end of it all. Such amazing stories; all of them giving the reader a glimpse into not only Aids, but humanity. The last story was the most powerful. Do yourself a favour and read it! Highly recommended!!!! It is about so much more than what the title offers.
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By Matrix1980 on July 30 2012
Format: Paperback
If you have as many questions as I do about HIV then this book is for you...the stories are very well told and the information is easy to understand for us non doctor's!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 5 2007
Format: Hardcover
Nolen tells stories that stop you from totally giving up on humanity - from the tireless doctors who treat Aids patients to the campaigners who refuse to buy their own medication until it is freely available to all.

In Bukavu, South Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Christine Amisi, for example, left the safety of a UN compound to continue her work as a nurse for Doctors without Borders to ensure that her patients got supplies of drugs. Christine assisted in Doctors without Borders' anti-retroviral trials in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country torn apart by civil war.

Nolen points out that there is a very real risk of creating drug-resistant strains of HIV should patients not exercise compliance in treatment; this is one of the challenges often cited in treating AIDS in unstable countries like the Congo. And yet, what did Doctors without Borders find? Patients had, in the long term, a 97 per cent adherence rate--taking their pills correctly and on time -- which is higher than the rate at most treatment sites in North America. Only 5 per cent of them had been "lost to follow-up," that is, stopped showing up and became untraceable -- again, a number about on par with North America, and remarkable for war zone.

In Bukavu, South Kivu, Doctors without Borders provides comprehensive HIV/AIDS care with counselling, testing and treatment of opportunistic infections, as well as antiretroviral treatment (ART). Doctors without Borders has worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1981. Dr James Orbinski, who was president of Doctors without Borders when the organisation was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999, says of Nolen's book: "Read. Weep. Rage. And above all else - like those people described in this book - find the courage to do."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kate Jongbloed on May 14 2008
Format: Paperback
Stephen Lewis, the former UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa, called Stephanie Nole's 28 Stories of AIDS in Africa, "the best book ever written about AIDS". I must admit that I was skeptical- how could a relatively short book of stories encapsulate this massive epidemic? By the time I'd finished the third of 28 stories, I'd changed my mind.

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!
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