The african aids epidemic a history answers president thabo mbekis provocative question as to why africa has suffered this terrible epidemic while mbeki attributed the causes to poverty and exploitation 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 . Iliffes intention in writing a history the african aids epidemic was pointedly not to prepare for or present new primary data instead his stated aim was to make a historical contribution to synthesize and consolidate previously collected evidence instead it offers an historical account with four advantages p 1 first iliffe suggests an answer to the question why has africa had a uniquely terrible hiv aids epidemic he concludes that africa had has the worst . In his book the african aids epidemic a history eminent african historian john iliffe provides a more simple yet complex answer time and historical sequence africa had the worst aids epidemic iliffe writes because it had the first epidemic established in the general population before anyone knew the disease existed 1. The african aids epidemic a history is a brilliant introduction to the many aspects of the epidemic and the distinctive character of the virus john iliffe is a professor of modern history in the university of cambridge and a fellow of st johns college he is the author of africans the history of a continent and the african poor a history
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