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The Wages of Sin: Sex and Disease, Past and Present
Near the end of the century, a new and terrifying disease arrives suddenly from a distant continent. Infecting people through sex, it storms from country to country, defying all drugs and medical knowledge. The deadly disease provokes widespread fear and recrimination; medical authorities call the epidemic "the just rewards of unbridled lust"; a religious leader warns that ...more
Paperback, 226 pages
Published June 1st 2002 by University Of Chicago Press
(first published 2000)
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This was one of those books I picked up while I was out of town just because I wanted something to read. I wasn't sure what to expect, but a historical review of the ravages of syphilis, the plague, HIV, and other infectious diseases in regard to religion and government sounded very interesting. Turns out, the book was written by a gay man who lived through and lost many friends to AIDS in the 1980's. Though he was not a scientist, his observations of the way in which religious and government in ...more
Brilliant description of a "behind the scenes" look at how society has shaped our views on medical issues. I usually pawn off non-fictional work as a bore, but this is an almost gripping narrative that drips with historical goodies and stories your history teacher never shared with you.