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Edition 17

Staying Alive

Staying Alive goes to the heart of the human condition and the challenges of life and death. Epidemics and war make it a geopolitical issue as well as a personal one.

Twenty million people have died from AIDS globally. Many died because its management was hijacked by those who believed it was caused by sin, not a virus.

Bill Bowtell, one of the architects of Australia’s successful HIV/AIDS policy, passionately and persuasively argues that HIV can be eradicated within three generations. With political will, the lessons of successful HIV prevention can – and must – be applied globally. As the second phase of the pandemic looms in this region, this is an urgent plea.

Wars are also urgent. Donna Mulhearn kept a diary during her time doing humanitarian work in Iraq, and describes four terrifying days caught in the crossfire in Fallujah.

Nor is heroism confined to the battlefield or the global stage: writers in this issue reflect on personal battles to stay alive, and explore the implications of death. But when it is time to die, Dr Frank Brennan describes how this can be done with dignity and grace.

Staying Alive puts personal dilemmas of survival in the context of the big picture, and maps out new and thought-provoking ways of thinking about the human condition.

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Griffith Review