This memoir of a dedicated doctor battling the AIDS epidemic in Haiti does more than chronicle the story of a horrible disease. It is a moving tribute to the abundant courage, resilience, and dignity of a people beset by tragedy.The Zombie Curse A Doctor s 25-Year Journey into the Heart of the AIDS Epidemic in Haiti Arthur M. Fournier, M.D., with Daniel Herlihy Dr. Art Fournier met his first AIDS patient on an autumn afternoon in 1979. Of course, neither Fournier nor his colleagues at Miami s Jackson Memorial Hospital fully understood the chilling impact of what they were seeing. They were simply confounded by the fact that the patient failed to respond to treatment and, ultimately, died. During the next several months scores of additional patients presented themselves with similar symptoms and met the same fate. Beyond the medical similarities, there was another bond that grouped these patients together: they were all Haitian immigrants. The zombie curse had descended on south Florida. As the AIDS epidemic unfolded around the world, Dr. Fournier witnessed the chaos, confusion, and blame that was to become associated with this baffling disease. Nothing in his background, education, or training prepared him for the journey that lay ahead. The death and misery were devastating, the disease frustrating and mysterious, and the spiritual toll as catastrophic as the physical. It soon became apparent that science alone could not win this epic battle. We follow Dr. Fournier to Haiti where he searches for ways to treat patients with AIDS not simply the physical symptoms, but also the stereotyping and blame heaped on both the victims and even the doctors that tend to them. In large measure it is the generous spirit of a proud people that move and motivate Fournier, ultimately releasing him from his own zombie curse. This memoir of a dedicated doctor battling the AIDS epidemic in Haiti does more than chronicle the story of a horrible disease. It is a moving tribute to the abundant courage, resilience, and dignity of a people beset by tragedy.
The Zombie Curse: A Doctor's 25-year Journey Into the Heart of the AIDS Epidemic in Haiti. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2006.
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"[Fournier] skillfully presents AIDS as an epidemic of poverty through the stories of the Haitian AIDS patients he treated in Miami in the early 1980s, and via his own efforts to bring health care to rural Haiti."
-- SEED, June/July 2006
"Fournier sends out a cry from the front lines about the overwhelming role poverty plays in the spread of AIDS."
-- Publishers Weekly, January 23, 2006
"A confounding, scary, and humbling book."
-- The San Diego Union-Tribune, June 13, 2006
"The book is horrifying but, in the end, offers hope."
-- Express, June 21, 2006