While the World Sleeps: Writing from the First Twenty Years of the Global AIDS Plague

While the World Sleeps: Writing from the First Twenty Years of the Global AIDS Plague

While the World Sleeps: Writing from the First Twenty Years of the Global AIDS Plague

While the World Sleeps: Writing from the First Twenty Years of the Global AIDS Plague

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An estimated 40 million people live with HIV, the precursor virus to AIDS, the most devastating disease that humankind has ever faced. Most people with HIV will die of the disease within the decade, and in Africa, where in the sub-Saharan states HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death, over two million people died in 2001 alone. AIDS has profoundly changed the world. Now in AIDS: A World Changed, longtime gay journalist and author Chris Bull has assembled a landmark collection that will be necess

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One thought on “While the World Sleeps: Writing from the First Twenty Years of the Global AIDS Plague”

  • 3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Riveting, September 6, 2003
    By 
    Kurt Lennon (Calgary) –

    This review is from: While the World Sleeps: Writing from the First Twenty Years of the Global AIDS Plague (Paperback)
    This collection of newspaper articles and essays about AIDS since its discovery to just this past year is an absolutely riveting read. The foreword by long-time AIDS activist Larry Kramer is brutally concise; indeed, it feels like a slap in the face. Where were you all when AIDS was beginning to bloom in poor countries? Why were there no revolutions sparked by this epidemic? Why weren’t people angry? He raises tough questions that still go unsolved over 20 years later. He also lists off a good many well-known writers, playwrights and artists, all of whom have never written a single word about AIDS. Are they simply ignoring it, or are they just afraid to voice their opinions?
    Another fascinating aspect of this book is the early articles and essays, showcasing a time when there were only 41 cases of a “rare cancer” in homosexuals in the San Francisco and New York areas. This article was written by Lawrence K. Altman for the New York Times in 1981. To think that this epidemic, twenty years later, would soon reach the death toll of the Black Plague from the fourteenth century is just mind-boggling. All the essays in this volume are astounding in their breadth of description; vivid images of AIDS’s social, cultural, political and economic implications, all of them catastrophic. They point fingers at everyone from the highest branches of government to the most insignificant by-stander, everyone who in good will is letting this virus slowly wipe out humanity. It’s hard to imagine how far-spread this epidemic can be in another twenty years, and I dare anyone to read these writings and not shake their head in disbelief and anger. It’s been too long since this virus took over, and it’s about time people stood up, willing to make a change. Difficult to read at times, but it should be required reading for anybody who calls themself a citizen of Planet Earth.
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