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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: John A. Robinson, MD (Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine)
Description: Rising from the morass of written bodies of AIDS/HIV works, be they handbooks, primers, reference guides, or teaching texts, is this fourth edition of the AIDS/HIV: Reference Guide for Medical Professionals, which stands head and shoulders above the crowd.
Purpose: This is intended as a primary resource for all healthcare providers with clinical laboratory, social, preventive behavioral, epidemiological, legal, or personal interests in HIV/AIDS.
Audience: The audience includes internists, pediatricians, advanced practice nurses, and public health and government officials.
Features: The editors have wisely eschewed redundant presentations on virology, pathogenesis, life-cycle and sociopolitical concerns, most of which promise to be either redundant, obsolescent, and/or irrelevant by press time and instead have insisted that a small group of expert authors provide contemporaneous accounts of all updates of the complex facets of AIDS/HIV that all health practitioners should be familiar with. There are very strong chapters on epidemiology and transmission, healthcare worker precautions, relevant clinical aspects of the disease and self-care. The risk reduction chapter is a rather compulsive one; for example, presumably for the sake of completeness, the author actually listed voyeurism and phone sex in the "No Risk" category for transmission of HIV.
Assessment: This book approaches Merck Manual status in AIDS/HIV and can be consulted for anything and everything important to the care of these patients. Hopefully, the editors will continue their daunting task by producing a fifth edition within the next 24 to 36 months. Their book is recommended as a sole source to all healthcare professionals who take care of AIDS/HIV patients.