AIDS at 30: A History

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Overview


Society was not prepared in 1981 for the appearance of a new infectious disease, but we have since learned that emerging and reemerging diseases will continue to challenge humanity. AIDS at 30 is the first history of HIV/AIDS written for a general audience that emphasizes the medical response to the epidemic. Award-winning medical historian Victoria A. Harden approaches the AIDS virus from philosophical and intellectual perspectives in the history of medical science, discussing the process of scientific discovery, scientific evidence, and how laboratories found the cause of AIDS and developed therapeutic interventions. Similarly, her book places AIDS as the first infectious disease to be recognized simultaneously worldwide as a single phenomenon. After years of believing that vaccines and antibiotics would keep deadly epidemics away, researchers, doctors, patients, and the public were forced to abandon the arrogant assumption that they had conquered infectious diseases. By presenting an accessible discussion of the history of HIV/AIDS and analyzing how aspects of society advanced or hindered the response to the disease, AIDS at 30 illustrates for both medical professionals and general readers how medicine identifies and evaluates new infectious diseases quickly and what political and cultural factors limit the medical community’s response.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Through the voices of many key players, Harden has provided new insights into the complex history of AIDS."—Peter Piot, director, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and former executive director, UNAIDS

"AIDS at 30 stands out from other books about one of the most important medical challenges of our time. It is not only a good read, but is accurate and insightful. Getting the story right is a big deal in this field.”—Barbara J. Culliton, president, The Culliton Group, and former news editor, Science, and deputy editor, Nature

"Harden brings her masterful command of NIH history to bear in a narrative of the first thirty years of this devastating epidemic. With a deft hand she lays out the path of discovery, from finding the culprit virus through the current drug regimens that have brought it under control, all the while making complex scientific ideas available to the lay reader. Its comprehensive survey tells the story from the beginning, and its references will guide students to myriad further research topics, both U.S. and global. Although the history of HIV/AIDS will be continuously rewritten, this work should stand the test of time for years to come and be the place to start for future historians of the epidemic."—Margaret Humphreys, Josiah Charles Trent Professor in the History of Medicine, Duke University

"A succinct and complete narration."—David Olle, New York Journal of Books

Peter Piot

"Through the voices of many key players, Harden has provided new insights into the complex history of AIDS."—Peter Piot, director, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and former executive director, UNAIDS
Barbara J. Culliton

"AIDS at 30 stands out from other books about one of the most important medical challenges of our time. It is not only a good read, but is accurate and insightful. Getting the story right is a big deal in this field.”—Barbara J. Culliton, president, The Culliton Group, and former news editor, Science, and deputy editor, Nature
Margaret Humphreys

"Harden brings her masterful command of NIH history to bear in a narrative of the first thirty years of this devastating epidemic. With a deft hand she lays out the path of discovery, from finding the culprit virus through the current drug regimens that have brought it under control, all the while making complex scientific ideas available to the lay reader. Its comprehensive survey tells the story from the beginning, and its references will guide students to myriad further research topics, both U.S. and global. Although the history of HIV/AIDS will be continuously rewritten, this work should stand the test of time for years to come and be the place to start for future historians of the epidemic."—Margaret Humphreys, Josiah Charles Trent Professor in the History of Medicine, Duke University
New York Journal of Books - David Olle

"A succinct and complete narration."—David Olle, New York Journal of Books
American Journal of Epidemiology - Kenrad E. Nelson

"This is the most comprehensive history of the AIDS epidemic published to date. It should be read by anyone interested in global health."—Kenrad E. Nelson, American Journal of Epidemiology
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597972949
  • Publisher: Potomac Books
  • Publication date: 1/31/2012
  • Pages: 340
  • Sales rank: 959,364
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Victoria A. Harden retired in 2006 after twenty years as the founding director of the Office of NIH History at the National Institutes of Health. She has written numerous articles about AIDS and has lectured widely on its history. Dr. Harden is the author of Inventing the NIH: Federal Biomedical Research Policy, 1887–1937 (1986) and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: History of a Twentieth-Century Disease (1990), the latter winning the Henry Adams Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government. She received the American Historical Association’s 2006 Herbert Feis Award for outstanding contributions to public history. In 2007 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association for the History of Medicine. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
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