HIV/AIDS: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
HIV/AIDS is without doubt the worst epidemic to hit humankind since the Black Death. As of 2004 an estimated 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 toxic. In the developing world, especially in parts of Africa, life expectancy has plummeted to be...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
As with most of the books in this series, it's a very good introduction to the subject at hand. Whiteside clearly puts forward the great knowledge he has about HIV/AIDS and one come's away with a more detailed picture of this great epidemic.
I'm taking a course called HIV/AIDS in Culture, and this is one of the non-required texts that my professor recommended for us. Essentially, it outlines AIDS not only through epidemiology but through politics, economics, and culture as well. As with all of the issues in this series, HIV/AIDS: A Very Short Introduction is not intended to be exhaustive, and for the most part it works fine as a frame that clarifies more detailed discussions of HIV and its past and present effects on the world.
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