This book is about AIDS and Africa, and the world’s response to both, and presents three stories describing possible futures.
If, by 2025, millions of African people are still becoming infected with HIV each year, these scenarios suggest that it will not be because there was no choice. It will not be because there is no understanding of the consequences of the decisions
and actions being taken now, in the early years of the century. It is not inevitable.
As these scenarios demonstrate, it will be because the lessons of the first 20 years of the epidemic were not learned, or were not applied effectively. It will be because, collectively, there was insufficient political will to change behaviour (at all
levels, from the institution, to the community, to the individual) and halt the forces driving the AIDS epidemic in Africa.
What we do today will change the future. These scenarios demonstrate that, while societies will have to deal with AIDS for some time to come, the extent of the epidemic’s impact will depend on the response and investment now. Applying and sustaining the learning of the last 20 years will make a fundamental difference to Africa’s future.
Hundreds of people have contributed to building the scenarios in this book. The project has been grounded in a dedicated group of participants from all walks of life, mostly Africans living and working in Africa, who are involved in responding to HIV and AIDS, living with HIV, and dealing with the impacts of AIDS. Their efforts have been supported and supplemented by analysis and comments from other experts in a variety of fields, along with writers and artists, and the contributions of many supporting institutions.