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Three Letter Plague: A...
Jonny Steinberg
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Three Letter Plague: A Young Man’s Journey Through a Great Epidemic

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  56 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
At the end of a steep gravel road in one of the remotest corners of South Africa's Eastern Cape lies the village of Ithanga. Home to a few hundred villagers, the majority of them unemployed, it is inconceivably poor. It is to here that award-winning author Jonny Steinberg travels to explore the lives of a community caught up in a battle to survive the ravages of the ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published July 31st 2011 by Vintage Digital (first published February 1st 2010)
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Olwethu Nqevu
Sep 22, 2015 Olwethu Nqevu rated it it was amazing
This books ticks all the boxes for me. I have read it for way more than anybody ever reads a book, way more than I should have. I was avoiding having to restart it. In one go, I have bushed it.

I was thrilled by Steinberg's research and honesty throughout the book. With my paternal family in Lusikisiki I found myself relating completely to the book contents.

Having spent some time in the area around the time he was there (although I did not know him nor have met him) I can't help shake the feeling
Julia Hill
Jan 06, 2014 Julia Hill rated it really liked it
For those unfamiliar with the complexities of providing AIDS treatment, even when medicines are freely available, Steinberg's book uses the story of a young man named Sizwe to illustrate the challenges that stigma, personality, ignorance and location play in limiting access to HIV testing and treatment. Doctors Without Borders' Lusikisiki program features prominently, as do the personal efforts of a community health care worker. The picture seems a bit grim from where it is told, focusing on why ...more
Amin Amou
Oct 30, 2015 Amin Amou rated it really liked it
An engaging book which unfolds suffocating complexities around HIV+ and AIDS patients. Social stigma, guilt, and superstition were only few of the problems that HIV+ patients in rural South Africa were struggling with. Jonny Steinberg's journey touches on some public health structural problems in the aftermath of HIV/AIDS epidemic in SA. The journey contains invaluable lessons for the countries that live under the shadow of the disease.
David Meldrum
A haunting, incisive and honest chronicle of a young rural man's relationship with the HIV plague, testing and treatment; like Steinberg's excellent 'The Number' I learned much from it. This time about rural poverty in SA, black fear of white cultural domination and manipulation, and the social complexity of rural cultures. Occasionally it becomes a little dry and technical, drifting away from the central narratives; much of the time this true-life story is gripping and moving.
Feb 16, 2016 Shi-Hsia rated it it was amazing
I think the interesting thing about this book is that the author never allows anyone - neither the subjects nor himself - to just give one answer that floats unexamined on the surface of things. He keeps ruminating and questioning and returning to the question of why do people do a certain thing or feel a certain way.
Mar 08, 2014 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. True story about a young man's journey through the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa. Set in one of the remoter villages of Lusikisiki in the Cape where there is huge belief in traditional medicine. Certainly made me think and see HIV/AIDS from a different perspective.
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May 14, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing
An amazingly well-written book: compassionate without ever being patronising towards its subject.
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