Effects of Colonialism

I’M RESPONDING TO your article "Fight for the Living" by Eugene and Jacqueline Rivers (July-August 2000). I taught in Sierra Leone during the ’80s just before the war began, but long before it was covered in the U.S. press. Although HIV/AIDS education wasn’t my area, I heard from more than one Salonian that AIDS was an acronym for "American Idea to Discourage Sex." When I left in 1989, not a single Salonian officially died from AIDS. Of course, autopsies were unheard of and AIDS-related opportunistic infections killed many. Given the brutality of the war, it is hard to believe that any woman in Sierra Leone was not raped, spreading HIV and increasing what are casually referred to as "casualties of war." The effects of colonialism continue to be devastating.

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Sojourners Magazine September-October 2000
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