" Free book on HIV, Health and Community Action The idea for this book grew out of our experiences working to help growing numbers of people with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). In Rwanda, one of us met a doctor who struggled to care for a hospital ward overflowing with women with HIV and tuberculosis. Families were camped outside, cooking and caring for their sick relatives; patients without families suffered because food and other supplies were scarce, but often other people shared what they had.Working long days under tough conditions, the members of the health care team had to make difficult decisions about treatment. They watched as a few patients died each day despite their best efforts. Health workers, social workers, and educators joined together to lessen the suffering caused by HIV.When asked where they had learned to do their jobs, they shrugged their shoulders and pointed to each other. They had learned from experience and word of mouth.Why was there no guide that addressed some of the basic issues regarding HIV disease in areas where most of the people with HIV live? "