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From The CriticsReviewer: Judith W. Munson, JD (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This book illuminates the importance of linkages between public health measures and human rights concerns in the design of management strategies that are to overcome the unique problems posed by the AIDS pandemic.
Purpose: The authors intend this book to show why human rights concerns are as serious and integral in the battle against AIDS as are public health considerations. They go about this task by detailing and explaining those human rights principles recognized internationally and then applying them to AIDS policy. The authors' objectives are laudable because they undertake to analyze those circumstances in which the protection of the public's health does not necessarily require the derogation of the rights of the individual, especially in the management of the AIDS threat. The authors succeed in meeting this objective.
Audience: This book is written for a broad audience. The authors seek to enlighten individuals and organizations, governmental and nongovernmental, concerned with the AIDS pandemic about the protection of the health and the human rights of persons living with HIV/AIDS. They focus on the fundamental principles of human rights, where they come from, and how they intersect with effective strategies impeding the spread of AIDS. The authors bring to their subject unique qualifications. They are both lawyers representing three prestigious academic centers: Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard. They use their legal expertise to focus on the public health issues surrounding AIDS through the human rights lens.
Features: The thesis of the book is well researched and thoroughly referenced and documented. Its bibliography is notable for its comprehensive compilation of documents, books, and articles addressing the legal and human rights issues regarding AIDS that are tackled in the book. Equally noteworthy are the chapters containing the human rights impact assessment tool proffered by the authors and the case studies that are used to apply the tool. An appendix sets forth the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its entirety.
Assessment: The book is provocative in its thesis and should prove to be useful in a variety of forums: governmental policy centers, legislatures, provider sites, and the classroom. The authors' use of case studies to apply the human rights impact assessment model they propose is an interesting method of bringing theory into practice. This provides the utilitarian aspect needed to focus on the real-life practicality of implementing global human rights principles in day-to-day scenarios as issues arise involving AIDS.