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From The CriticsReviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, D.O., M.A. (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is an outstanding, comprehensive new book covering HIV/AIDS all the way from the molecular level to public policy regarding the psychiatric problems encountered in this patient group. Written and edited by internationally recognized clinician-scientists in the HIV/AIDS field, this book is essential reading for all those involved in the care of patients with HIV/AIDS.
Purpose: The purpose, according to the editors, is to "bridge existing gaps in knowledge and communication among clinicians working in HIV/AIDS and others who are concerned with the psychological, social, cultural, spiritual, psychiatric, and neurobehavioral complications of HIV infection and AIDS." The editors and chapter authors have succeeded in creating an excellent multidisciplinary volume that will be the benchmark for all books in this area.
Audience: The intended audience includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, primary care physicians, infectious disease specialists, bioethicists, and policymakers.
Features: The first of the book's seven sections provides the basics: epidemiology, the biology of HIV/AIDS, and medical treatments. Section 2 reviews diagnostic tools in assessing the psychopathology, including psychiatric assessment, psychological/neuropsychological testing, and electrophysiology. Psychiatric comorbidity, which is a significant complicating factor in diagnosis and treatment, is covered in section 3. This is followed by a section on medical comorbidity, which is another complicating factor, and contains informative chapters on drug interactions, pain syndromes, and STD. Section 5 focuses on specific populations and the special problems encountered with chapters on Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, neonates and infants, children and adolescents, older adults, women, the gay and lesbian population, the homeless, prisoners, and the patient's family. Section 6 addresses such issues as ethical, forensic, and legal problems, religious and spiritual issues, psychotherapy, alternative medicine, suicide, and terminal care issues. The concluding section targets prevention and educational strategies and the difficult issues of physician assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia. Each chapter ends with pertinent and timely references.
Assessment: This is an important book for all to read since HIV/AIDS directly and indirectly affects everybody.