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A journalist’s portrait of a pandemic.
by Kimberly Burge
Wearing a fierce gaze and his “HIV POSITIVE” faded red T-shirt, Winstone Zulu came right out and asked Toronto’s Globe and Mail Africa correspondent Stephanie Nolen the question. “What are our lives worth?”
His five words touched on the central themes—economic, political, philosophical, theological—that must be considered in any examination of the AIDS crisis in Africa, and the response from the rest of the world it has and has not generated.
Nolen couldn’t answer him and avoided his gaze by scribbling in her notebook. Zulu may as well have been asking on behalf of the 28 people profiled in Nolen’s book, 28: Stories of AIDS in Africa, or for the 28 million people in sub-Saharan Africa estimated to be infected with HIV. Each has every right to expect an answer to that question from a world that has turned its back for too long.