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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mark D. Goodman, MD (Creighton University Medical Center)
Description: This softbound manual is meant to support and instruct patients living with HIV, as well as their families and loved ones. The previous edition was published in 2001.
Purpose: The purpose of this book is best expressed in the title: it is a guide to LIVING with HIV infection. The book covers the aspects of people's lives that HIV affects — physical, emotional, social, legal, and financial. These are extraordinary objectives, and they are met.
Audience: This is a notable resource and companion for people living with HIV. As a caregiver of patients with HIV, I found I learned something as well. I suspect that I am not the only one to be surprised at the depth of emotional response, financial drain, legal hazards and such that can accompany living with HIV. The authors teach at Johns Hopkins University and are notable authorities in this field.
Features: After a short introduction, the book opens with a chapter on when a patient is first diagnosed that eloquently walks readers through that experience. Subsequent chapters discuss preventing transmission, HIV infection and treatment, effects on emotions, effects on interpersonal relations, complications, making legal and financial decisions, preparing for death, and tactics for preserving mental health and preparing for living. Exhaustive and impressive! What is best about the book is the writing. It is written for lay people, and is clear and mentoring.
Assessment: I loved this book! I strongly encourage all HIV medical caregivers to recommend it to their patients. Thinking back, a book like this would have been a tremendous balm and companion to many of my patients. The new edition is certainly justified, as treatment options and HIV care decisions continue to be refined and illuminated.