The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West and the Fight against AIDS

The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West and the Fight against AIDS

by HelenEpstein (Author)


In 1993, Helen Epstein, a scientist working with a biotechnology company searching for an AIDS vaccine, moved to Uganda, where she witnessed first-hand the suffering caused by the HIV virus. The Invisible Cure , dramatic, illuminating and beautifully written, recounts the struggle of international health experts, governments and ordinary Africans to understand the devastating spread of HIV in Africa, and traces how their responses to the crisis have changed in light of new medical developments and political realities. The AIDS epidemic in Africa is uniquely severe. It is partly a consequence of the political, social, and economic upheavals of the past century, which have left millions of Africans adrift in an increasingly globalized world. Their poverty and social dislocation have generated an earthquake in gender relations that has had devastating consequences for the spread of the HIV virus.Epstein argues that there are ways to address this crisis that may be simpler than many people imagine. A deeply affecting story of scientific breakthroughs and false starts, and of the human costs of policymakers' missteps and inaction, The Invisible Cure will change the way we think about AIDS, a disease without precedent.


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More Information

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Publisher: Viking
Published: 26 Jul 2007

ISBN 10: 0670913561
ISBN 13: 9780670913565

Media Reviews
An enlightening and troubling book. -- The New York Times Helen Epstein is one of a rare species: the scientist turned storyteller. . . . [A] blunt, informed critique. -- The UN and President Bush should not just read Epstein's book, they should distribute it around Africa. -- The Sunday Times (London) Elegant prose, a scientific background, and a journalist's searching anecdotal eye. -- Nature Sometimes a bolt of clarity shoots out of the blue . . . as it will for readers of this book who yearn for insights on how a deadly virus now infects an estimated 25 million Africans and has killed untold millions more. -- The New York Times Book Review Epstein has a compelling thesis, and she explains it in lucid, sometimes extraordinary prose. -- The Nation
Author Bio
Helen Epstein has written about public health for various publications, including the New York Times magazine, Granta, and the New York Review of Books. She has conducted research on reproductive health and AIDS in Africa for various organizations, including the Open Society Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation and Human Rights Watch. She obtained a PhD in molecular biology from Cambridge University and an MSc in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.