UNDERSTANDING AIDS: A Comprehensive Guide by

UNDERSTANDING AIDS: A Comprehensive Guide

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A general guide to the disease, aimed principally at those in the health and helping professions. Gong presents a collection of pieces from physicians, epidemiologists, nurses, psychologists, immunologists and others who deal with various aspects of the problem, and the result is a clear picture of AIDS' development both as an epidemiologic phenomenon and as an individual catastrophe. The authors begin by describing once again how the first picture of AIDS emerged, the first awareness that something was seriously wrong in gay communities in New York and San Francisco. They move on to the ""The Clinical Spectrum,"" explaining our present understanding of how the immune system begins to break down, the myriad viral, parasitic, bacterial and fungal infections that follow, and the cancers that are most likely to occur in those with the disease. ""Implications"" looks at where we are in finding a single cause for AIDS (the authors play down the immediate importance of recent isolation of a specific virus by French researchers) and supports the argument that AIDS will not become a problem for the general public (supposedly, it should have shown up on a wider scale by now if it was going to). It looks, too, at the ethical questions that are being raised (AIDS patients are being discriminated against, without any cause). Treatment is only briefly discussed, with the emphasis being on revitalizing the immune system, rather than combating each resulting disease as it arises (the current state of affairs). Finally, Gong presents five pieces on ""Avoiding or Coping with AIDS""--there is no news here, and the emphasis is on the professional point of view (i.e., ""Caring for the AIDS Patient""). This is a good overview, but those looking for personal help can see in. stead Siegal's AIDS: The Medical Mystery.

Pub Date: May 31st, 1985
Publisher: Rutgers Univ. Press