Body Count: How they turned AIDS into a catastrophe

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Profile Books, Sep 3, 2010 - Social Science - 187 pages
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With 20 million dead and another 40 million infected, AIDS is the world's worst epidemic, but the catastrophe could have been prevented. This book shows how millions could have been saved and many millions more infections could have been prevented if the world had responded properly to the crisis. Peter Gill reveals how politicians and religious leaders in both the rich and poor worlds have failed in their duty to protect their people from the disease. Simple messages about safe sex and condoms have been consistently downplayed out of embarrassment or misplaced moral fervour. Just as the world begins to wake up to the enormity of the AIDS disaster, the America of George W. Bush is threatening to undermine the global effort. The Christian Right has decided that sexual abstinence is the answer to the pandemic. Big business manoeuvres to protect the profits of the pharmaceutical industry against cheap AIDS drugs from developing countries. And the US challenges every other Aids initiative that does not square with its determination to export a conservative and Christian ideology. Twenty-five years on from the first identification of AIDS in America in 1981, this book at last fixes historical and contemporary responsibility for the tragedy.

  

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Contents

A Death in Zambia
1
Sex and Sin
7
God and Abstinence
20
The Heart of the Matter
35
A State of Denial
55
The Lazarus Effect
74
Big Pharma Little Pharma
90
Clerical Errors
102
Crusaids against Prostitution
131
Crusaids against Drugs
145
Where Charity Begins
161
Condom Wars
181
Making Aids History
196
Further Reading
200
Acknowledgements
202
Index
205

The Lost Decade
120

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About the author (2010)

PETER GILL recently led a major BBC campaign against Aids in India. He has been a foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph in South Asia and the Middle East. As a TV reporter, he was one of the journalists who brought the 1984 Ethiopian famine to world attention. He then wrote the definitive story of the politics behind that tragedy, A Year in the Death of Africa. He lives in London.

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