The AIDS Pandemic: Complacency, Injustice, and Unfulfilled Expectations

The AIDS Pandemic: Complacency, Injustice, and Unfulfilled Expectations

The AIDS Pandemic: Complacency, Injustice, and Unfulfilled Expectations

The AIDS Pandemic: Complacency, Injustice, and Unfulfilled Expectations

Synopsis

In this collection of essays, Lawrence O. Gostin, an internationally recognized scholar of AIDS law and policy, confronts the most pressing and controversial issues surrounding AIDS in America and around the world. He shows how HIV/AIDS affects the entire population--infected and uninfected--by influencing our social norms, our economy, and our country's role as a world leader.

Now in the third decade of this pandemic, the nation and the world still fail to respond to the needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS and continue to tolerate injustice in their treatment, Gostin argues. AIDS, both in the United States and globally, deeply affects poor and marginalized populations, and many U.S. policies are based on conservative moral values rather than public health and social justice concerns.

Gostin tackles the hard social, legal, political, and ethical issues of the HIV/AIDS pandemic: privacy and discrimination, travel and immigration, clinical trials and drug pricing, exclusion of HIV-infected health care workers, testing and treatment of pregnant women and infants, and needle-exchange programs. This book provides an inside account of AIDS policy debates together with incisive commentary. It is indispensable reading for advocates, scholars, health professionals, lawyers, and the concerned public.

Excerpt

It is only twenty years since HIV/AIDS burst upon the world. Hard now for us to imagine a world free of it. It crept up on us. Soon its awful reality was everywhere.

I first heard about it in a gay newspaper in Sydney early in the 1980s. Stories began to appear about a strange new condition among gay men in the United States, especially San Francisco. The weird symptoms seemed exotic and therefore not too troubling. Early comments from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that the phenomenon might be linked with the use of the recreational drug amyl nitrite.

From such small beginnings and tiny news stories the problem soon expanded. By 1982, the acronym AIDS had been adopted. By 1984, Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo had isolated the virus. By 1985, a test was available to determine the presence of the virus in human blood. Soon friends began to manifest the symptoms. The quiet confidence that had been carried along by the post-Kinsey sexual revolution, the belief that with knowledge of social . . .

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