New book confirms colonial link to AIDS in Africa (40120)

Feb. 28 (GIN) – A Washington Post editor and a professor at the University of North Carolina have completed a new book that erases any doubt that Western colonial powers sparked the AIDS epidemic and then fanned its rise.

Tinderbox, to be released Mar. 1, “overturns the conventional wisdom on the origins of this deadly pandemic,” notes the publisher’s release.

Reviewer Robert Dreyfuss in The Nation magazine, wrote: “Maybe it’s too much to say that imperialism caused AIDS. But at the very least, it’s karma–payback, if you will, for mass slaughter, slavery and vicious exploitation in central Africa more than a century ago.”

“The penetration of Africa by Belgians, Germans and other colonialists in the late nineteenth century not only brought syphilis to Africa, a disease that killed countless Africans, but unleashed the AIDS virus, too,” Dreyfuss deduced from the book. From “a small patch of dense forest in southeastern Cameroon,” the virus traveled down a river system to the colonial outpost of Kinshasa sometime between 1880 and 1910 or so.”

“Tinderbox puts it all together in a way that shows the consequences of imperialism, colonialism and the attendant public health disaster that followed it,” Dreyfuss says.

Authors of the new book are Craig Timberg, former foreign correspondent in Africa, and now acting national security editor of The Washington Post, and Daniel Halperin,a senior HIV prevention adviser in the U.S. government’s global AIDS program and now an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina. The book was published by Penguin Books.