The AIDS Pandemic: Social Perspectives

The AIDS Pandemic: Social Perspectives

The AIDS Pandemic: Social Perspectives

The AIDS Pandemic: Social Perspectives

Synopsis

This book provides an overview of the social, economic, and political impact of AIDS around the world. The sudden appearance and rapid spread of AIDS has given birth to an enormous amount of literature. This volume summarizes recent writings about AIDS and provides a framework for thinking about the eventual consequences of this world-wide epidemic. As an interdisciplinary work, this text draws upon research from diverse fields, such as anthropology, demography, economics, epidemiology, history, political science, public health, social psychology, and sociology. The volume begins with a look at the spread of AIDS and its prevalence throughout the developing world. Special attention is given to AIDS in the United States in one chapter, and other chapters discuss the international response to AIDS, including public and government reactions.

Excerpt

This book seeks to give the general reader an overview of the social, economic, and political impact that AIDS is having throughout the world. The sudden appearance and rapid spread of AIDS has spawned a sometimes bewildering spate of articles, books, and press commentaries that, taken together, provide an enormous amount of information about this disease and its social impact. For the nonspecialist seeking orientation and understanding, the problem is where to begin. This book offers a summary of recent writings about AIDS and a framework for thinking about and assessing the AIDS pandemic. For the specialist in one aspect of AIDS, the book provides an overview of its broader social aspects. For all readers, it introduces a rich array of research reports from many fields that documents the social origins and impacts of AIDS.

The sources used for this summary cover a wide range of fields, principally anthropology, demography, economics, epidemiology, history, medicine, political science, public health, social psychology, and sociology. This range is required because AIDS is at once a scientific, a medical, and a social problem. The problems created by AIDS require that we understand the methods and knowledge of all these disciplines in order to grasp their full meaning and to grope for solutions. AIDS is a social event of great magnitude, not simply a series of individual tragedies or a major chapter in the history of disease.

The magnitude of AIDS as a social event is a major concern of this book. Here it can only be noted that quite apart from the problems inherent in any disease of epidemic proportions is the social context in which it is occurring. A major focus of the book is . . .

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