Side effects is a work of narrative non-fiction that asks why South Africa has one of the worst AIDS epidemics in the world, and why all the early attempt to deal with it led to deepening controversy and strife.
The historical narrative reveals how and why AIDS conquered one of the richest countries on the African continent. It is a tale of the failures of presidents and people, of the legacy of apartheid, of bureaucratic indifference and corporate greed. It lays bare the lost opportunities and fateful decisions that led to mass death at a time when medical and social science had cleared the way to the prevention and treatment of the worst disease ever to have afflicted humankind.
Above all, Side effects is the biography of an extraordinary virus. A virus that enters a society, just as it enters the body, at its weakest point: an opportunistic virus that triumphed over the vulnerabilities of a country in transition.
Published in 2008 by Double Storey, Juta, Side Effects is now out of print, but available second-hand at Amazon and other online bookstores. Contact the author for new copies.
Prologue (Download PDF)