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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mark D. Goodman, MD (Creighton University Medical Center)
Description: The author includes a small history chapter in this third edition, but most of the book concentrates on the cellular biology of HIV, finishing with chapters on treatment and vaccine development. The second edition was published 10 years ago.
Purpose: The purpose "is to provide a resource for clinicians, researchers, health care providers and students." The book is the most comprehensive biological treatise on HIV that I have read, but has less emphasis on the clinical care of people living with HIV/AIDS. Therefore, it appears to be directed more at researchers and students and less at clinicians and HIV care providers.
Audience: This will be of tremendous interest to cellular biologists and researchers, with perhaps less utility to clinicians and HIV care providers. The author is a legend in HIV discovery and care.
Features: The author provides a comprehensive look at HIV transmission, cellular interactions, immune responses, development of malignancy in an HIV-affected immune system, and spends some time on novel therapies and vaccine development. The most interesting reading for me, however, was the end of each chapter, where "Salient Features" provides a summary. The photos and brief biographies of AIDS pioneer researchers in each chapter are very interesting, and provide a humanistic point of view on this subject. From my point of view, the only shortcoming of the book is its very microbiological focus.
Assessment: This is a powerful resource, well referenced, and very up to date. It represents exhaustive work by Dr. Levy and others, and is likely to be found on the bookshelf of serious practitioners and researchers in HIV care.