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Sub-Saharan Africa has been called the 'ground zero' for HIV/AIDS. Without question, it has borne the brunt of the pandemic. However, simply explaining HIV/AIDS as the latest in a long list of disasters to befall sub-Saharan Africa offers little by way of a solution to what is arguably its most pressing crisis. Just as a famine is rarely an 'act of God', the extent of the HIV/AIDS pandemic was by no means predetermined. Here, its rapid spread and sheer severity is demystified. In some respects at least, the millions of ongoing HIV infections and AIDS deaths can be read as a gross failure of politics and governance around the globe. Flint explores the complexity of the interrelated factors and actions that have combined to facilitate the 'African AIDS crisis' and offers, in the continuing absence of a medical cure, an insight into how HIV/AIDS might be halted through effective governance at the national, regional and international level.