Item description for As They See It: The Development of the African AIDS Discourse by Raymond Downing...
African AIDS, in the West, is often associated with media images of skeletal, forlorn-looking and dying Africans inviting the sympathy of the viewer or reader. Associated with these images are often motleys of subtly hidden narratives - poverty, promiscuity, failed leadership, impending Armageddon, and lately the greed and heartlessness of Western drugs companies who are harangued for prioritising profits over African lives. But how do Africans themselves see AIDS? What do they believe causes the disease? How do those affected by the undeniable epidemic really live with it? And how has the disease affected the Africans' sense of who they are? With the possible exception of the perspectives espoused by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa - much of which is distorted - the African AIDS discourse, has, as with most things African, been severely marginalized, if not completely kept away from the Western media. Dr Raymond Downing, an American medical doctor, who with his wife (also a medical doctor) have been living and practising medicine in different African countries for over fifteen years, seeks to plug this lacuna with this book. Based on personal observations, interviews, the reading of African press, books and AIDS narrative in African fiction, as well as in academic papers, Dr Downing charts the development of the African AIDS discourse. He invites the reader to look beyond the AIDS epidemic to see how Africans view health and diseases in general. Raymond Downing was born in Massachusetts, USA, and studied medicine in New York between 1971 and 1975. He and his wife, Janice Armstrong, have practised medicine in Sudan, Tanzania and Kenya for more than fifteen years. His other books include The Wedding Goes On without Us, which was published in Kenya in 2002.
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More About Raymond Downing
Raymond Downing has been on the faculty of the Moi School of Medicine in Kenya since 2005 and has served in various medical posts throughout Africa for more than two decades. He also served in the Indian Health Service at a Navajo reservation in Arizona. Downing earned his MD from New York Medical College in 1975 and studied tropical medicine at the Liverpool (England) School of Tropical Medicine.
Reviews - What do customers think about As They See It: The Development of the African AIDS Discourse?
opening your eyes to a new version of wellness Nov 11, 2007
I read Downing's first works on poverty medicine and was quite eager to read his next book. This book did not disappoint. I have family and friends involved in helping with HIV/AIDS in Africa. I found Downing's viewpoint very refreshing, and found that his model of discussing illness should be one that is read by Westerners, not just Africans. I keep recommending this book to anyone who is interested either in AIDS/HIV in Africa, or to doctors who want to think of a different medical approach, one which involves surroundings, not just bacteria and viruses. We need a whole being approach to health which is offered to us here. Rather than think of Africa as a needy, backward place, we need to start to see the wisdom this continent can offer us. Perhaps seeing how our exported culture functions in other countries, such as "condomization," can help us re-evaluate how harmful Western ways of seeing life may be. I wish it were less expensive, so I could give a lot of copies away!