Coming to French Terms with HIV/AIDS

Coming to French Terms with HIV/AIDS

“Coming to French Terms with HIV/AIDS” is a bi-lingual vocabulary manual/reader for language learners.

As its title states, this book is a guide for adult language learners (teachers, health care providers and others), anywhere, who wish to acquire HIV-related vocabulary. Although African issues have been empathized with and emphasized, this is a book meant for general use and materials have been gathered from many sources. Primarily written for Anglophones, it is accessible to Francophones as well.  The manual begins with several sections of themed vocabulary lists. These are study guides, not glossaries.

This manual is a “starter kit.” As the field of HIV/AIDS is sometimes controversial, complex and ever evolving, (a case in point, male circumcision) some topics in this small book may be over-simplified. It is assumed that readers will come to the subject with varied backgrounds, language proficiency and needs.

From cultural factors to access to testing and treatments, conditions vary vastly throughout the world. One point is quite clear! HIV is a tremendous tragedy and it forces us to confront some of the worst aspects of human nature, which can give us a skewed impression of human nature. During the decade I taught in Africa, I did encounter some of the worst, but mainly experienced much of the best from the varied peoples on that continent; dedicated colleagues, energetic pupils, caring families, resourceful women, wonderful hospitality, captivating stories and songs and much laughter. All of this is just as much a part of Africa as is the blight of AIDS whose silent rise I witnessed.

This book does not presume to present answers but rather to raise awareness for some readers on some topics. As such, the tone may at times seem downbeat. It is easy to forget the many large and small successes amid the overwhelming needs. I hope this short book will provide its readers with some of the tools they need to foster communication on this sensitive, serious subject that we are endeavoring to come to terms with.

Complete Text of Coming to French Terms with HIV/AIDS by Jan Knowles [PDF]