Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Public Health

The AIDS Pandemic: Impact on Science and Society

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Public Health

The AIDS Pandemic: Impact on Science and Society

Article excerpt

The AIDS Pandemic: Impact on Science and Society Kenneth H. Mayer and H.F. Pizer (Editors). London, England: Elsevier Academic Press, 2005; 537 pp.

The first question raised by this book is whether a book is an appropriate medium for the transmission of information in a field moving as rapidly as HIV.

The authors include physicians and scientists who have played an important role in the history of the epidemic, including Phyllis Kanki, Samuel Bozzette and Salim Abdool Karim. Thirty of 32 authors are based in the US.

The book's 19 chapters reflect a somewhat arbitrary choice of topics within the broader subject of HIV. The chapters vary widely, including some with concise and insightful overviews such as those on Asia and Africa. The review of HIV vaccines included an informative summary of the immunologie, ethical, operational and epidemiologic implications of an HIV vaccine. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on drug use and was fascinated to learn that the first reported IDU-associated infection was tetanus in 1867 and that malaria was recognized in Cairo IDUs in 1929!

The chapters on the "public health response to HIV, AIDS; the evolution of comprehensive AIDS clinical care; economics; and medical ethics and the law" were all somewhat disappointing in their very US-centric take on topics of global interest in this quintessentially global disease. …

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