Readers Reviews from Amazon
AN APPEALING BOOK ABOUT PEOPLE WITH AIDS
on 12 October 2017 – Published on Amazon.com
Books about AIDS are usually full of medical mumbo jumbo. But “Wise Before Their Time” is different. It’s a book of personal stories told to the author by real people. People of all colors and creeds and sexual persuasions who have AIDS. The book is both moving and informative. You are saddened by most of the tales. But at the same time, you learn that for the most part, after their diagnosis and treatment, the AIDS afflicted are grateful. Of course they are sorry to have AIDS. But they have all learned to love life more than ever before. This book is not only touching, it’s well crafted and will shed new light on AIDS for readers everywhere.
Brave Voices from the Dark Era of HIV/AIDS
on 17 October 2017 – Published on Amazon.com
When AIDS first hit the headlines in the early 1980s, there was widespread fear and ignorance. I remember an earnest young fisherman coming up to me on a beach in Sri Lanka in the summer of 1986, asking nervously whether one could catch AIDS from kissing. These days, attitudes to the disease — and to the HIV virus that can lead to it — have changed considerably, partly because of more widespread scientific knowledge but largely because those who can access antiretroviral drugs (dispensed free to infected men and women in many countries) can often live a normal life. AIDS is no longer an automatic death sentence.
So the context in which Ann Richardson has reissued her book of testimonies from people living with (or dying from) HIV/AIDS has changed considerably over the two decades since she and her (now deceased) collaborator, Dietmar Bolle, first produced it. Nonetheless, there is a freshness and an immediacy in many of the spoken and written interviews with people of both genders, of different ages and from different cultures. The book is arranged thematically, covering major aspects of how people came to terms with their condition, who they told and how and the sort of support networks they developed — or their experiences of rejection and prejudice. The stories are often moving, even tear-inducing, and also occasionally funny. Yes, HIV/AIDS before drug therapy was a terrible plague, which particularly hit Western gay men and heterosexual Africans and their children. But what comes over most strongly from many of the people who feature in this important book is their fortitude, in some cases their stoicism, and often intimations of real love.