Home > News and media > Publications > Publications archive > 2003 > Letting Them Die: why HIV/AIDS prevention programmes fail


Letting Them Die: why HIV/AIDS prevention programmes fail

Catherine Campbell|
James Currey Publishers in association with The International African Institute (18 September 2003)

South Africa has the worst AIDS epidemic in the world. This book highlights the barriers and constraints to controlling this national crisis and asks why do people knowingly risk a slow and painful premature death? Can women be taught the skills for negotiating safe sex? And what are the lessons to be learned within Africa and across the world?

Letting Them Die critiques government-sponsored and privately funded HIV/AIDS prevention programs in South Africa and examines why it has been so difficult to stop the HIV/AIDS epidemic and why the 'gold standard' prevention programme had so little impact. Free condoms, treatment for sexually transmitted infections and education and awareness programmes were all provided. If any intervention was to have had any measurable impact, this should have been the one. 

Campbell's research focuses on local vectors of the disease such as what people believe about the spread and prevention of AIDS, what measures they take to prevent disease, and whether they are likely to seek treatment at local AIDS clinics. This book is not just an investigation into sexuality, social relations, health, and medicine; it is also a sharp review of the kinds of programs that are becoming the standard method of HIV/AIDS intervention throughout Africa.