A journalist surveys the medical landscape and decides that we are off the track in searching for the cause of AIDS; his arguments are not wholly convincing. London-based Adams started on the trail of AIDS while researching a TV program; after ""months of research and hundreds of hours of reasoning we came to the conclusion that the theory that HIV causes AIDS was either wrong or severely deficient. . ."" There is simply too much left unexplained, and too much in contradiction of such a theory, says Adams. And causation is not the only aspect of the disease where Adams ends up at odds with prevailing medical thought. ""In general, AIDS is not easy to acquire,"" he thinks--in fact, ""much of the hysteria generated about it, particularly in the US, has derived from a prudish reluctance to talk in public about a perfectly commonplace human phenomenon--vaginal, oral and anal sex."" Adams feels that our misunderstanding stems from the fact that many discrete disciplines--virology, molecular biology, the social sciences, and others--are investigating the AIDS question, and not communicating well with each other or the public. To set readers straight, Adams reports on these disciplines and their findings, highlighting the views of those researchers and investigators (some of these are quite reputable) who disagree with the HIV theory; he also looks at other possible causes. Meanwhile, he is unapologetically subjective; he is also sometimes offensively incorrect; on having a ""positive attitude,"" Adams actually thinks that ""If people consider a diagnosis of AIDS a sentence of death, for them it will be."" Adams' chief contribution is to remind readers how shaky and elementary our understanding of AIDS is at present and that, cast in a slightly different light, much of what we do know could well be interpreted to tell a very different story. Speculation, then, and not from a firsthand medical source. Nevertheless, a sometimes useful exercise.