Pub. Date:
Saturday Is for Funerals

Saturday Is for Funerals

by Unity Dow, Max EssexUnity Dow


Current price is , Original price is $18.5. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.


In the year 2000 the World Health Organization estimated that 85 percent of fifteen-year-olds in Botswana would eventually die of AIDS. In Saturday Is for Funerals we learn why that won't happen.

Unity Dow and Max Essex tell the true story of lives ravaged by AIDS--of orphans, bereaved parents, and widows; of families who devote most Saturdays to the burial of relatives and friends. We witness the actions of community leaders, medical professionals, research scientists, and educators of all types to see how an unprecedented epidemic of death and destruction is being stopped in its tracks.

This book describes how a country responded in a time of crisis. In the true-life stories of loss and quiet heroism, activism and scientific initiatives, we learn of new techniques that dramatically reduce rates of transmission from mother to child, new therapies that can save lives of many infected with AIDS, and intricate knowledge about the spread of HIV, as well as issues of confidentiality, distributive justice, and human rights. The experiences of Botswana offer practical lessons along with the critical element of hope.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674061835
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 10/15/2011
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Unity Dow is a practicing lawyer in Botswana and the author of four novels. She was formerly a judge with both the Botswana High Court and The Interim Constitutional Court of Kenya.

Max Essex is Mary Woodard Lasker Professor of Health Sciences at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. He has been involved in AIDS research from the earliest days of the U.S. epidemic in 1982.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • 1. A Family of Funerals: The Epidemic
  • 2. I Know You Still Love Me: Sexual Transmission
  • 3. Masego and Katlego: Mother-to-Child Transmission
  • 4. Mandla Gets Tested: Diagnosis of HIV Infection
  • 5. The Death of Mma Monica: AIDS Disease in Adults and Availability of Treatment
  • 6. Naledi and Her Nephew Shima: AIDS in Children
  • 7. It Is the Will of God: HIV and Tuberculosis
  • 8. Walking Skeletons and Hesitant Hugs: Toxicities and Resistance to Drugs Used to Treat HIV/AIDS
  • 9. The Page Is Turning Red: Blood Transfusion as a Risk for HIV Infection
  • 10. A Tribal Tradition: Male Circumcision to Prevent HIV Infection
  • 11. A Matter of Commitment: Development of an HIV Vaccine
  • 12. Ancestral Control: Evil Spirits and HIV as the Cause of AIDS
  • 13. He Died in China: Fear and Stigma
  • 14. Opelo’s Rebellion: Issues of Adolescents and Women
  • 15. Desperation for Pono: Orphans of HIV/AIDS
  • 16. Government Action Makes a Difference: A Nation Responds
  • Glossary
  • Further Reading
  • Index

What People are Saying About This

Mark A Wainberg

This wonderful book is an inspiration to anyone who wants to learn more about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its impact on Africa. The authors have collaborated on a well-written tome that is highly informative yet easy to read and digest. This book will have to be considered for a Pulitzer Prize and other suitable recognition.
Mark A Wainberg, Past-president of the International AIDS Society and co-developer of several anti-HIV drugs

Abraham Verghese

This extraordinary book brings to life the utterly unique stories of people in Botswana; yet the fact is that struggle, suffering and redemption are also universal stories with which we can all identify. The partnership of Dow and Essex, storyteller and scientist, results in a precious alchemy: a book that is engrossing, transforming and an important addition to the canon of the literature of HIV.
Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone and My Own Country

Alexander McCall Smith

This is a remarkable account of the human effect of a pandemic, written by two people with an intimate knowledge of Botswana and its struggle to deal with AIDS. I recommend this book most warmly for its humanity and insight.

Robert C. Gallo

This is THE AIDS book to read - first because of its novel approach of describing true and very moving stories of the Botswana experience, coupled with lucid and relevant scientific explanations fitting for each of the stories and second because of the experience and caliber of its authors. Saturday Is For Funerals is at once highly moving, while providing unforgettable lessons from the greatest pandemic in medical history. Unity Dow knows her people and their tragic stories, and as we would expect from a highly regarded novelist, displays these stories with grace and beauty. Co-author, Professor Max Essex, has as much or more public health scientific experience and more insights into HIV/AIDS than anyone I know in the world. This book would be valuable not only for people impacted by HIV, but also for politicians, educators, students, and anyone who wants an education on mankind's greatest "plague".

Robert C. Gallo, M.D., Director, Institute of Human Virology and Division of Basic Science, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Stephen J. O'Brien

Unity Dow and Max Essex have crafted an extraordinarily effective synergy of science and societal journalism. Saturday Is For Funerals explores the fragility and resilience of human spirit through poignant personal narratives around courtships, young love, and family tradition, centered in the Botswana "hot zone" of the most devastating epidemic in recorded history. In conversational and gripping prose Saturday Is for Funerals engages as it informs, standing alongside Randy Shilts (And the Band Played On ) and Abraham Verghese (My Own Country) as a heartfelt chronicle of the turbulent times that AIDS has engendered for global society, for science, and for amazing African peoples.
Stephen J. O'Brien, AIDS researcher and Author of "Tears of the Cheetah and Other tales from the Genetic Frontier"

Customer Reviews