Piecing the Puzzle

The Genesis of AIDS Research in Africa

Larry Krotz (Author)


In 1979, Dr. Allan Ronald, a specialist in infectious diseases from Canada, and Dr. Herbert Nsanze, head of medical microbiology at University of Nairobi, met through the World Health Organization. Ronald had just completed a successful project that cured a chancroid (genital ulcer) epidemic in Winnipeg and Nsanze asked him to come to Kenya to help with Kenya’s “sexual diseases problem.” That initial invitation led to a groundbreaking international scientific collaboration that would uncover critical pieces in the complex puzzle that became today’s HIV/AIDS pandemic. In Piecing the Puzzle, journalist and documentary filmmaker Larry Krotz chronicles the fascinating history of the pioneering Kenyan, Canadian, Belgian, and American research team that uncovered HIV/AIDS in Kenya, their scientific breakthroughs and setbacks, and their exceptional thirty-year relationship that began a new era of global health collaboration.

About the Author

Larry Krotz is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and author of five previous books, including Midlifeman and Tourists, which looks at how mass tourism is changing the world. Over the past 25 years he has travelled to a number of African countries, where he produced the documentary film, Searching for Hawa’s Secret, and wrote extensively for magazines and newspapers on scientific research and foreign aid projects. Originally from Winnipeg, he currently lives in Toronto.

Table of Contents

Introduction / Ch 1: Waging War with Infectious Diseases / Ch 2: The African Epidemic / Ch 3: Educating Around AIDS / Ch 4: Research Strategies / Ch 5: Secrets of the Sex Workers / Ch 6: The Vaccine Quest; and More Lessons From the Immune System / Ch 7: The Kenyan Side: Squaring the Collaboration / Ch 8: An Experiment in Kisumu/ Ch 9: Legitimizing Circumcision / Ch 10: Unfinished Business / Conclusion: AIDS World