Letting Them Die

Letting Them Die

Why HIV/AIDS Prevention Programmes Fail

Catherine Campbell


No rights

James Currey



South Africa has the worst AIDS epidemic in the world...this book highlights the barriers and constraints to controlling the crisis.
'In the old South Africa we killed people. Now we're just letting them die' - Pieter Dirk Uys, satirist
Why do peopleknowingly risk a slow and painful premature death?
People explain in their own words. There are interviews with migrant mineworkers, commercial sex workers and young women and men.
Why did this 'gold standard' prevention programme have so little impact?BR> Free condoms, treatment for sexually transmitted infections and education and awareness programmes were all provided. If any intervention was to have had a measurable impact, this should have been the one.
The author's experience is drawn from a period of five years. She writes vividly - even at times in a raw manner. What are the lessons within Africa and across the world? The author, who is a social psychologist, has drawn on anthropology, sociology and social medicine. Her study is an early evaluation of what is becoming the standard HIV/AIDS intervention throughout Africa.

In association with the International African Institute
North America: Indiana U Press; South Africa: Double Storey/Juta


September 2003
224 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
African Issues
ISBN: 9780852558683
Format: Paperback
James Currey
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email


Anyone who wants to understand the terrible closed circle of denial and death should read this book - R.W. Johnson in THE SUNDAY TIMES
... the best book yet written on the struggle to control HIV. - Alex de Waal in THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
Campbell's thesis is that a complexity of multi-level processes influence HIV transmission and that, unless addressed, they hamper the most well-meaning efforts to dislodge the epidemic's grip. ... The old ways of understanding and responding to this epidemic have not gained us sufficient ground against it sufficiently quickly. There is much that can be learnt and applied in this thoughtful and challenging analysis. If we are to make headway against its ravages we must take this book seriously. - Elizabeth Reid in ARAS Australia
It took courage to document and write about such a failure in a world enamoured of best practices . ...Letting Them Die is a most useful, challenging, and thought-provoking book. It compels us to listen to people, think out of the box, looks for new practices (p. 195), and muster our drive and energies to design HIV/AIDS programmes that work faster than the epidemic. - John F. May, The World Bank, in POPULATION STUDIES
Catherine Campbell's book is a superb analysis of community development initiatives and challenges surrounding HIV programmes. The material for this book is well researched and intelligently summarised. There are few books documenting the challenges of HIV programmes and Letting Them Die: Why HIV/AIDS Prevention Programmes Fail provides an important and compelling contribution to this body of literature. - Rebecca Tiessen in THE EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH
...a forceful presentation of a theoretically well-informed and comprehensively researched critique of the participatory community development approach to HIV prevention. It will be valuable not only for those with a particular interest in HIV/AIDS management, but also for those with a more general interest in the possibilities and limitations of the partnerships and participation as community development strategies. - Jo Beall in JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
This important book, which should be read by all in community-based work, describes a project that tried and failed to reduce the risk of HIV infection amongst three groups in a mining town in South Africa - female sex workers, male miners, and young people. - Tony Klouda in DEVELOPMENT & CHANGE

Also in Series