India is home to almost three million HIV cases. But AIDS is still a disease stigmatized and shrouded in denial. It is stigma that prevents people from openly discussing the facts around HIV, and keeps them from getting treatment. Stigma leads to discrimination against HIV positive people in hospitals, schools and even among families.
In this ground-breaking anthology, sixteen of India's well-known writers go on the road to tell the human story behind the epidemic. William Dalrymple meets the devadasis ('temple women'), many of whom have become victims of HIV; Kiran Desai travels to the coast of Andhra where the sex workers are considered the most desirable and Salman Rushdie spends a day with Mumbai's transgenders. These writers travel the country to talk to housewives, vigilantes, homosexuals, police and sex-workers and together they create a complex and gripping picture of AIDS in India: who it is affecting, how and why.
Eye-opening, hard-hitting and moving, AIDS Sutra will show you a side to India rarely seen before.
This anthology was produced in collaboration with Avahan, the India AIDS Initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Proceeds will be used to support programs for children affected by HIV in India.
"Aids Sutra is important ... [it] succeeds because it is not sentimental: the writers respect the victims, admire their courage. With humility, expatriates make the arcane accessible. Those based in India have a refreshing candour"
"Intereresting...engaging...finely observed. Sir Salman Rushdie's essay is...one of the best."
"The challenge of conveying extreme suffering without sentimentalising...is met in this collection of wide-ranging voices, both emotive and meditative...the anthology...shows how storytelling can help create life-saving "fellow-feeling""