A Tragedy With No End In Sight

Giraffes, bears, and bunnies embroidered on swatches and sewn together adorn the walls of the Entombeni orphanage in a seedy neighborhood of downtown Johannesburg. Giggles and shrieks spill from a ground-floor playroom. But beneath the gaiety is an inexorable sadness--and a foreboding of the grim fate awaiting much of Africa. On each panel of these vast tapestries is a name, a birth date, and a death date: These are AIDS quilts of a sort, hand-crafted memorials to infants or toddlers, most of whom were born to HIV-infected mothers and quickly fell victim to South Africa's AIDS holocaust.

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