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I can remember vividly many individuals who, literally …
I could see them dying before me.” Then came the new dispensation and, with it, a new narrative.
Meanwhile, Jamaicans were dying, and there seemed nothing that anyone could do.
That was the Old Testament—when Figueroa could not cure or even treat these people, only oversee their passing, bear witness to their deaths.
But Kingstonians have a great deal more to worry about than tourists. This Jamaica stirs my sense of home when I land at the airport and find myself driven at breakneck pace along the narrow strip called the Palisadoes Road, along the coast, through Mountain View, past the National Stadium, and then deep into the upper reaches of Kingston. I feel at home watching the way people move on the street, the way women laugh, the way men gesture, the way drivers quarrel and dialogue with horns and hands and head signals.
I have returned to find out about HIV/AIDS in this Jamaica—the second Jamaica, my country, where about 1.5 percent of adults are living with the disease (nearly three times the rate in the US).
He speaks quietly and with resignation about those nightmarish years.
Soft-spoken but gregarious, the longtime epidemiologist has been leading the fight against the disease since it began.
They think they are seeing the other Jamaica, but they are not.
The other Jamaica, where I am from, lies hidden on the far side of the island, on the south coast.
When they were constantly sick, sex was an absurd memory, a treachery of sorts, but now they looked and felt healthy.
Now that they were not about to die, they had to decide what kind of lives they would live.