The African AIDS Epidemic: A History

Front Cover
Ohio University Press, 2006 - Science - 214 pages
0 Reviews
This history of the African AIDS epidemic is a much-needed, accessibly written historical account of the most serious epidemiological catastrophe of modern times. The African AIDS Epidemic: A History answers President Thabo Mbeki’s provocative question as to why Africa has suffered this terrible epidemic. While Mbeki attributed the causes to poverty and exploita-tion, others have looked to distinctive sexual systems practiced in African cultures and communities. John Iliffe stresses historical sequence. He argues that Africa has had the worst epidemic because the disease was established in the general population before anyone knew the disease existed. HIV evolved with extraordinary speed and complexity, and because that evolution took place under the eyes of modern medical research scien-tists, Iliffe has been able to write a history of the virus itself that is probably unique among accounts of human epidemic diseases. In giving the African experience a historical shape, John Iliffe has written one of the most important books of our time. The African experience of AIDS has taught the world much of what it knows about HIV/AIDS, and this fascinating book brings into focus many aspects of the epidemic in the longer context of massive demographic growth, urbanization, and social change in Africa during the latter half of the twentieth century. The African AIDS Epidemic: A History is a brilliant introduction to the many aspects of the epidemic and the distinctive character of the virus.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

The African AIDS epidemic: a history

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In a letter addressed to world leaders in April 2000, South African President Thabo Mbeki wanted to know why Africa has suffered so severely from the AIDS epidemic. Iliffe (modern history, Univ. of ... Read full review


The Drive to the East
of the South

3 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

John Iliffe is a professor of modern history in the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St. John’s College. He is the author of Africans: The History of a Continent and The African Poor: A History.

Bibliographic information