'Anyone who wants to understand the terrible closed circle of denial and death should read this book' - R.W. Johnson in The Sunday Times 'In the old South Africa we killed people. Now we're just letting them die' - Pieter Dirk Uys, satirist Why do people knowingly risk a slow and painful premature death? People explain in their own words. There are interviews with migrant mineworkers, commercial sex workers and young women and men. Why did this 'gold standard' prevention programme have so little impact? Free condoms, treatment for sexually transmitted infections and education and awareness programmes were all provided. If any intervention was to have had a measurable impact, this should have been the one. Can women be taught the skills for negotiating safe sex? Three women die for every two men. The author's experience is drawn from a period of five years. She writes vividly - even at times in a raw manner. What are the lessons within Africa and across the world? The author, who is a social psychologist, has drawn on anthropology, sociology and social medicine. Her study is an early evaluation of what is becoming the standard HIV/AIDS intervention throughout Africa.