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HIV/AIDS: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #174)
HIV/AIDS is without doubt the worst epidemic to hit humankind since the Black Death. First identified in 1981, by 2004 it was estimated that about 40 million people were living with the disease, and about 20 million had died. Despite rapid scientific advances, there is still no cure and the drugs are expensive and often toxic. Because of controversies and taboos surroundin ...more
Paperback, 147 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published February 25th 2007)
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I read this book for a class on AIDS and Public Policy. Quite fascinating. I had never thought about the effect that the epidemic had on policy and how if affected economy. The degree to which some countries are impacted is staggering. Because this disease affects mostly the working age population, there is a major rise in orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa, and a rise in child-headed households. And in some countries there are more non-working people (elderly and children) than working. It is a litt ...more
The author started his book saying: “ Writing a short book proved more difficult than I would ever have believed”. But I think he managed eloquently, in spite of this difficulty, to sum up the most important data about AIDS within only 140 pages. Then, lightly linked this information with epidemiology through many statistical results that covered the whole world. Moreover, he added a solid, sensible facts about economical changes, political motives, and social effects which controlled the preval ...more
Jun 24, 2014 Nelson Holmes rated it really liked it
This book is packed with information yet readily digested. Much of the text space is dedicated to under studied or under discussed tolls that HIV/AIDS has on family units, care giving, transfer of skill and knowledge, efficiency of work provided by the sick and costs of stigmatization. Sprinkled throughout the book are suggestions that technical solutions (such as medication, vaccines, etc..) are not the sole method, nor necessarily the best, for preventing future infections and obtaining better ...more
This does a pretty good job at what seems to be the authors main aim: demonstrating that there's more to HIV/AIDS than just the infection and medical treatments for it. But in the preface the author describes his difficulty in writing a short book, and I think he has a point: the whole thing reads a bit like a giant bullet-point list, and yet at the same time also manages to be quite repetitive. In my opinion more could have been done with the space, and at the same time the narrative could've f ...more
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