Description: This paperback uses color photographs in 64 pages to illustrate the 35 entities discussed in the text.
Purpose: There is no preface, but one can assume from the text, pictures, and compact nature of the book that the editors intended this to be a practical, clinical atlas to HIV related skin disorders. If this is their intended purpose for the publication, then it is a worthy purpose and their objectives are met.
Audience: The editors do not state specifically for whom the book is intended. In my judgement, it would be helpful to medical students and resident physicians caring for HIV infected patients, as well as useful to internists and infectious disease specialists. Although it is very basic, discussing eczema and psoriasis, dermatologists might find it more useful in its discussion of various drug reactions. The editors have a good knowledge of the material presented and use excellent illustrations.
Features: Following a brief introduction to the subject matter to be covered, there is a short (six references) selected bibliography followed by 58 figures with accompanying text. Good illustrations of a patient with a skin rash seen during seroconversion are followed by ones with mouth ulcers and then generalized lymphadenopathy. Conditions made worse by HIV infection, like psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis, plus secondary infections like verrucae and molluscum contagiosum are well covered as are allergic reactions to antiretroviral medications. There is a complete section on Kaposi's sarcoma plus eosinophilic pustular folliculitis and bacillary angiomatosis. The book concludes with a discussion of B cell lymphoma. It is neat, compact, and easy to carry on rounds. The color photographs are clear, distinct, and beautifully reproduced. The text is concise and well written.
Assessment: As a practicing dermatologist, I found all of the entities discussed very straightforward, but I did not learn much that was new to me. I think it is an excellent handbook for teaching medical students and residents. Other texts, like Penneys' Skin Manifestations of AIDS 2nd Edition (Martin Dunitz, 1995) have covered this subject matter before. The photographs are very nicely reproduced and each illustrates, quite well, the subject discussed in the text. Perhaps if a future edition is planned, more coverage will be given to the difficult problem of drug reactions in AIDS patients. I was surprised that a fixed drug reaction to sulfa drugs was not shown in the current edition, since it is seen so commonly in AIDS patients. I feel the authors are to be congratulated on the quality of their effort, the fine photographs, and the excellent text. I would recommend this book to any physician or medical student caring for HIV infected patients, but it may be too basic for most dermatologists.