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In January 2000, the United Nations Security Council mobilised for the first time ever against an illness: It declared the AIDS epidemic that is galloping through Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean a global catastrophe. The US ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke, acknowledged it as 'the greatest single threat to humanity'. The crisis is worst in sub-Saharan Africa, and especially South Africa, which has one of the fastest-growing epidemics in the world: One in four adults is HIV-positive, as are 29% of all pregnant women. The US response has been pitiful.Reporting from the frontlines of the daily battle with AIDS consuming hospitals and households across the country, author and journalist Zia Jaffrey stresses that AIDS in Africa is not simply a health issue but an amalgam of economic, political, and social concerns. Taking on Mbeki's administration, first-world governments, the large multinational pharmaceutical companies, and the inimical legacy of apartheid on the country's social cohesion, Jaffrey argues forcefully that not allowing developing nations access to cheap generic drugs nor drastically cutting prices of life-prolonging and AIDS-fighting drugs is tantamount to genocide. In disturbing personal narratives from men and women in South Africa, she reveals how AIDS has recently become the new apartheid.
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