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Aids Sutra

Untold Stories from India

Review by Joya Banerjee
23 November 2008Joya Banerjee is the co-founder of the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS.

Book Description: In this groundbreaking anthology, sixteen renowned writers tell the hidden story of the AIDS crisis, illuminating the complex nature of one of the major problems facing the developing world.

India is home to almost 3 million HIV cases, but AIDS is still stigmatized and shrouded in denial. Discrimination against HIV-affected individuals in hospitals, schools, and even among families is common, just as discussion about HIV and participation in prevention or treatment programs are not. In this riveting book, sixteen of India's most well-known writers go on the road to uncover the reality of AIDS in India and tell the human stories behind the epidemic.

Kiran Desai travels to the coast of Andhra Pradesh, where the sex workers are considered the most desirable; Salman Rushdie meets members of Mumbai's transgender community; William Dalrymple encounters the devadasis, women who have been “married” to a temple goddess and thus are deemed acceptable for transactional sex. Eye-opening, hard-hitting, and moving, AIDS Sutra presents a side of India rarely seen before.

Review by Salil Tripathi in the Independent.
Review by Syed Akbar in his blog.
Review by Sanjukta Sharma in the Wall Street Journal Lounge.

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