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From The CriticsReviewer: Mark D. Goodman, MD (Creighton University Medical Center)
Description: The book consists of eight chapters examining different communities of risk in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Particular emphasis is on social workers and their interventions in the community.
Purpose: The book's purpose is never stated but I believe the book serves an important purpose in examining the work of social workers in new infection prevention and service provision for those living with HIV/AIDS.
Audience: The book is written for social services personnel, specifically social workers, in my judgment. The authors are authorities in the field.
Features: The book examines social work theory, and visits different communities affected by HIV. I especially enjoyed reading about the rural Delta region of our American South, and the challenges and opportunities presented by that unique place in the world. African-American, intravenous drug-using and gay populations are examined and described with particular emphasis on women of color, who are feared to be the next wave of individuals affected by HIV. The major shortcoming of the book is its narrow targeted audience. Social workers familiar with the jargon employed in the book are going to be the only ones comfortable here.
Assessment: The book, while superb for social workers, lacks sufficient background information for the rest of us. Where is a "generalist approach" defined for the rest of us? The opening chapter, reviewing statistics about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, was too dry for my taste. In summary, the book presents a laudable effort "for those in the know," with some well-written chapters on affected communities in our nation, but needing definitions and background for the non-social-worker members of the care team.