Sunday, May 22, 2011
Week 21: Saturday is for Funerals
Saturday is for Funerals, by Unity Dow and Max Essex
Unity Dow is a judge in the Botswanan justice system, and here she teams up with AIDS researcher Max Essex to report on the AIDS epidemic as it's playing out in Botswana. Together they describe new treatments and efforts to curb the spread of AIDS: programs to diagnose and treat the disease, vaccination trials, even tribal chiefs bringing back traditional circumcision rituals. Judge Dow gets a lot of people coming to her for help, and she tells some of their stories.
It's a really interesting book that highlights some of the dilemmas of AIDS, and also offers quite a bit of hope for the future. As one of Africa's most stable countries, Botswana has been able to make a lot of progress compared to many of its neighbors, so that there is no longer a funeral every single Saturday, the way there was a few years ago.