Sarah Ensor examines the reasons for the spread of Aids in Africa.
Centuries from now television audiences will not look back at Aids as we do at the Black Death of the 14th century. We've seen the dramatisations of scabrous, sacking-clad peasants collapsed in smoky huts, utterly helpless before an apocalyptic disease and a middle aged historian in a leather jacket. He cheerfully explains that the death of one third of the population of Europe loosened the bonds of feudalism and created a space for a new economic form, capitalism, to emerge. The plague of HIV/Aids that is ravaging Africa is not a development opportunity.