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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bernard J. Turnock, MD, MPH (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This book examines the political and economic forces that have shaped the worldwide AIDS pandemic in order to promote more effective responses and actions.
Purpose: The purpose is to encourage society-level, rather than individual-level, responses to the AIDS epidemic based on the premise that AIDS and other epidemics cannot be effectively addressed without broad social change. This premise and the arguments in its support are clearly presented through a series of contributed chapters.
Audience: There is no specific audience targeted by the editor, but it appears to be written for social scientists and policy makers. The editor and the various contributors are credible authorities in their fields.
Features: There is very scant use of charts, graphs, and tables throughout the book with considerable variation from one chapter to another. The index is quite thin but the table of contents is adequate.
Assessment: This book addresses an interesting and important premise, and it sheds light on the social nature of health and illness. It argues that epidemics — such as the worldwide pandemic of HIV infection — cannot be effectively addressed by individual-based approaches alone. The book reinforces this message through different social perspectives on the AIDS epidemic and leaves the reader thinking more broadly about health and illness in general, and appropriate responses to the AIDS epidemic in particular. This book would be an interesting addition to most health science libraries.