AIDS BOOK REVIEW JOURNAL No. 58

AIDS BOOK REVIEW JOURNAL

University of Illinois at Chicago

H. Robert Malinowsky

Editor

ISSN 1068-4174

Number 58-July/August, 2000


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1013. Virus: The Co-Discoverer of HIV Tracks Its Rampage and Charts the Future, by Luc Montagnier.
1014. HIV/AIDS at Year 2000: A Sourcebook for Social Workers, edited by Vincent J. Lynch.
1015. Longtime Companions: Autobiographies of Gay Male Fidelity, edited by Alfred Lees, Ronald Nelson.
1016. Notes on the Plague Years: AIDS in Marseilles, by Bernard Paillard.
1017. AIDS: An Incredibly Easy Miniguide, edited by Michael Shaw.
1018. Global Responses to AIDS: Science in Emergency, by Cristiana Bastos.
1019. Macho Love: Sex Behind Bars in Central America, by Jacobo Schifter.
1020. AIDS Crisis in America: A Reference Handbook, 2nd edition by Eric K. Lerner, Mary Ellen Hombs.
1021. Pediatric AIDS: The Challenge of HIV Infection in Infants, Children, and Adolescents, edited by Philip A. Pizzo, Catherine M. Wilfert.
1022. Tyler's Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals, by James E. Robbers, Varro E. Tyler.
1023. Tyler's Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies, 4th edition by Steven Foster, Varro E. Tyler.
1024. Searching for Hawa's Secret, video directed by Larry Krotz.
1025. Wide Time: An HIV Odyssey, video produced and directed by Mimi Plevin-Foust, Raul Llorens.
1026. Hopes and Fears: Rusti's Story, video produced and directed by Mimi Plevin-Foust.
1027. Men Like Us: The GMHC Complete Guide to Gay Men's Sexual, Physical, and Emotional Well-Being, by Daniel Wolfe.

1013. Virus: The Co-Discoverer of HIV Tracks Its Rampage and Charts the Future, by Luc Montagnier, translated from the French by Stephen Sartarelli. 2000. W. W. Norton, 500 5th Ave., New York, NY 10110. 256p., illus., index. ISBN 0-393-03923-4. $24.95. (Descriptors: HIV Infections; Etiology; Research; History)

This is a well-written brief history of the HIV virus from it first being identified in 1981 to the present with some indication of what the future holds. "The disease was identified in 1981, and two years later the causal agent was isolated for the first time. Blood tests were available by 1985, which almost entirely eliminated the transmission of HIV by blood and blood products. In 1987, the first viral inhibitor, AZT, was shown to have short-term efficacy on disease progression. In 1994, it proved to reduce considerable the transmission of HIV from mother to child. In 1996, for the first time, a combination of three viral inhibitors, including a protease inhibitor, was shown to reduce viral multiplication by 1,000 times while dramatically improving the patient's condition." A lot has happened in 19 years, benefiting mostly the developed countries of the world. Much more still needs to be done, especially in the undeveloped countries where the virus is rampant and the number of new cases is increasing dramatically. There are now over 34 million people living with HIV/AIDS. Every day, 6,000 children become infected in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, India, Cambodia, and Southern China. More than ever a worldwide effort is necessary for controlling this epidemic.

The purpose of this book is to inform the layperson about the epidemic without using technical language. Part I provides a history of the discovery of the virus as seen by the author. Parts II and III provide an overview of the current knowledge of the virus and the disease as of 1998. Finally, Part IV addresses the new frontiers of research and the prospects for a vaccine. In order for a vaccine to be developed there has to be "continued dedication and creativity of the research community, combined with an extraordinary commitment from government and private citizens." Until that happens, the dark cloud of AIDS will hang over the entire world. This is a must read book and should be in all libraries from school to research.

1014. HIV/AIDS at Year 2000: A Sourcebook for Social Workers, edited by Vincent J. Lynch. 2000. Allyn & Bacon/ Pearson Education Co., 160 Gould St., Needham Heights, MA 02494. 268p., bibliog., index. ISBN 0-205-29006-X. $24.95. (Descriptors: Patients; Care; Social Aspects; Social Service; Social Workers)

"This sourcebook is intended to serve as a clear and concise guide for social workers who desire a grounding on HIV/AIDS issues. It is intended to provide what every social worker needs to know about HIV disease as we approach the year 2000. It can be thought of as a manual that can be referred to time and again when the practicing social worker deals with HIV-related questions and issues. It also can be a source that points the social worker to further information when needed." The contributors have done a great job in carrying out the purpose, offering insights into the complex realities of HIV disease in today's world and what the response of the social worker should include.

The first part covers the medical, psychosocial, and ethical issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. The second and longest part delves into issues surrounding those who are most impacted by HIV disease in the United States today, including African Americans, parents and their children, women of color, Latinos, caregivers, adolescents at risk, older people, gay men, and drug users. The last part looks at the roles for social workers in caring for those who are HIV positive or have AIDS., including prevention, advocacy and social policy, treatment, mental health, and bereavement.

This is an extremely well written book that should be of great value to all social workers and caregivers in the United States. Although the number of AIDS is declining at the present, we cannot let our guard down. Everyone has to be aware of the consequences in believing that the drugs that are now developed will keep one alive and well. This is a recommended book for all academic libraries.

1015. Longtime Companions: Autobiographies of Gay Male Fidelity, edited by Alfred Lees, Ronald Nelson. 1999. Haworth Press, 10 Alice St., Binghamton, NY 13904-1580. 225p. ISBN0-7890-0641-3. 1-56023-957-3pbk. $39.95, $17.95pbk. (Descriptors: Gay male couples; Biography)

This is not an AIDS or HIV book. It is a book about gay couples and shows the world that gay men can live together in a long and lasting relationship, that gay men are not the promiscuous sex creatures that the moralistic people say they are, that gay men live and enjoy life the same as the straight men, and that gay men love, laugh, cry, and play just like anyone else. Unfortunately, gay men are stereotyped and have had to live a life in secrecy until the latter part of the 20th century. More and more, they are being accepted into society even though the Reverend Phelps followers constantly taunt them and try to make them feel as if they are the lowest of life. Lees and Nelson have done a great job at putting together brief autobiographies of long-term gay couples. "They share slices of their own lives as they have lived them with each other or tell us of their mates who have passed on." This is a book for those who do not understand what it is to be gay. It is a book for those who have not come out of the closet. A book for the adolescent who feels that being gay is the end of the world. "We gays still have an immense job of reeducation before us--a job unlikely to diminish in the foreseeable future, and a job to which this book is dedicated." A highly recommended book for all school and public libraries as well as personal libraries.

1016. Notes on the Plague Years: AIDS in Marseilles, by Bernard Paillard, translated by Berkeley Frank. 1998. Walter de Gruyer, 200 Saw Mill River Road, Hawthorne, NY 10532. 293p., bibliog. (Social Problems and Social Issues). ISBN 0-202-30554-6, 0-202-30555-4pbk. $49.95, $23.95pbk. (Descriptors: Social Aspects; France)

This is a translation of a French book originally published in 1994 as L'Epidemie: Carnets d'un sociologue. This is a very interesting book that chronicles the advancement of the AIDS virus in the city of Marseilles, France. It is the 3rd largest city in France with a population of some 800,000 persons. It has experienced the urban explosion of the early sixties with large waves of French immigrants from Algeria. It is a melting pot of many nationalities with the youth being its most fragile inhabitants, many of them heroin addicts. The progression of the disease is dramatic from its first notice in 1983 to 1994. The disease was brought publicly to light in 1985 by a summer gay university that was organized by activists. The disease spread quickly, catching the gay community off guard. The book brings out the social conflicts surrounding this new disease in this popular resort community. It is a recommended book for all academic libraries with major AIDS collections depicting the history of the disease.

1017. AIDS: An Incredibly Easy MiniGuide, edited by Michael Shaw. 2000. Springhouse Corp., PO Box 908, Springhouse, PA 19477-0908. 144p., color illus., index. ISBN1-58255-014-X. $11.95. (Descriptors: Nursing; Manuals)

The Incredibly Easy MiniGuide series that Springhouse has created is intended to be a down to earth easy to understand series, providing brief and accurate information in a visual format that is understandable for the layperson, but professionaly written, in a light hearted way, for the nurse or caregiver. Special features are designed to strengthen ones understanding of HIV infection and AIDS, including memory joggers that provide clever tricks for remembering key points. Checklists are provided in the form of classroom chalkboards that list summaries of important facts. The use of cartoon characters may disturb some people who feel that teaching about AIDS is more serious that using such characters, but they do help the individuals who are reading the guide in remembering what was covered. This is a very worthwhile book that is recommended for all libraries from school to medical. However, its greatest use is for the individuals who work with AIDS patients on a day-to-day basis.

1018. Global Responses to AIDS: Science in Emergency, by Cristiana Bastos. 1999. Indiana University Press, 601 North Morton St., Bloomington, IN 47404-3797. 225p., bibliog., index. ISBN 0-253-33590-6. $27.95. (Descriptors: Social Aspects; Brazil)

"This book is the result of an extended experience that began with a Ph.D. in Anthropology and continued with several types of fieldwork and the processing of their impact (1989-96)." The global aspect of the book refers to where the research was conducted--New York City; Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian sites; the yearly gatherings for the AIDS International Conference in San Francisco, Florence, Amsterdam, and Berlin; and, in a later phase, at electronic sites. Five of the chapters describe the meat of the book: "Politics and the Construction of Knowledge: AIDS Activism as a New Social Movement," "Sponsoring Global Action: The Role of WHO," "Local Action: Responding to AIDS in Brazil," "Central Problems in a Peripheral Landscape: Negotiating Knowledge and Treating AIDS in Brazilian Medical Settings," and "War Metaphors in Germ Theory and Immunology: In Search of a New Paradigm."

This is a fact-filled book that covers the impact of AIDS, especially in Brazil. It is easy to follow with a great amount of detail to digest and understand. Social epidemiologists have created complex models to account for the social determination of disease but still remain distant from the AIDS research bandwagon where the relevant variables are defined in terms of individual behavior. The final paragraph of the book provides the reader with much to think about: "Through the course of the AIDS epidemic, we seemed to be moving out of a long historical period defined by war, hot and cold, into a middle-range and centerless state of flexible accumulation and massified globalization. As we progress through the 1990s, however, the mirage of a post-Cold War era of openness, dialogue, and peace has succumbed to increasing violence, scattered wars, ethnic cleansing, and religious intolerance. Maybe science has plenty of models to replace the war paradigm, but society is not ready for that shift." A highly recommended book for all academic libraries.

1019. Macho Love: Sex Behind Bars in Central America, by Jacobo Schifter. 1999. Haworth Hispanic/Latino Press, 10 Alice St., Binghamton, NY 13904-1580. 115p., bibliog., index. ISBN1-56023-965-4, 1-56023-966-2pbk. $39.95, $14.95pbk. (Descriptors: Prisoners; Central America; Sexual Behavior; Health and Hygiene)

AIDS in prisons is an increasing concern throughout the world. Prisoners are not afforded the proper care and are not instructed in preventive measures that are needed to slow the spread of the disease in the prison population. "The objective of this book is to reveal part of the sexual culture of prisons in order to improve AIDS-prevention programs. The aim is to study the types of relationships that occur in these institutions and the factors that place inmates at risk of contracting the HIV virus." We have to understand the sexual culture of prison inmates in order to make any kind of AIDS prevention program work. In this book, Schifter points out that the sexual culture in prisons mirrors the sexual culture of Costa Rica's middle classes, but most people refuse to accept this fact.

The book is based on interviews with the prisoners. It provides us with a better understanding of what actually happens in the prisons in terms of initiation, sexual practices, power and sex, prostitution, rape, and alcohol and drugs. The accounts that are described will make some people squirm and others to stop reading. Many will think that some of the interviews were staged and that what was said actually did not happen. Unfortunately, all that is described is real and happening on various scales throughout all prisons. As a result, prevention programs become difficult to administer. Researchers have to understand more fully what goes on behind the bars. This is a recommended book for all academic libraries and for the larger public libraries.

1020. AIDS Crisis in America: A Reference Handbook, 2nd edition by Eric K. Lerner, Mary Ellen Hombs. 1998. ABC-CLIO, PO Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911. 323p., bibliog., index. (Contemporary World Issues). ISBN 1-57607-070-0. $45.00. (Descriptors: Epidemiology; Government Policy; United States)

Although this book is now two years old, it is still an excellent update of AIDS information for the United States. The first edition was published in 1992 and received excellent reviews. It has become a standard ready reference book for many academic institutions as have other books in the series, Contemporary World Issues. Both Lerner and Hombs have done an excellent job in providing the key information that is needed to understand AIDS in the United States. The introductory chapters provides background information about the science of AIDS, treatment, demographics, community response, government response, care, role of people with AIDS, role of business, and the impact of combination therapy. Chapter 2 is a chronology followed by biographical sketches in chapter 3. The fourth chapter covers facts and statistics while chapter 5 provides documents and reports that speak about the government response to AIDS, firsthand perspectives, and the impact of HIV/AIDS on other aspects of society. Chapter 6 covers HIV/AIDS and the law. The last two chapters contain directory information including government agencies, organizations, hot lines, list of print material, and lists of non-print materials. A glossary and index round out an excellent reference book.

This is a highly recommended book for all libraries from school to academic. It is a quick source of information that can be spread through many resources.

1021. Pediatric AIDS: The Challenge of HIV Infection in Infants, Children, and Adolescents, 3rd edition edited by Philip A. Pizzo, Catherine M. Wilfert. 1998. Williams & Wilkins, 351Camden St., Baltimore, MD 21201-2436. 849p., illus., bibliog., index. ISBN 0-683-30399-6. $99.00. (Descriptors: AIDS in Infants; AIDS in Children; AIDS in Adolescence)

This has become a standard resource for pediatricians who are treating AIDS in infants, children, and adolescents. The first edition was published in 1991 and the second in 1994. Much progress has been made in the treatment of pediatric AIDS, but much still has to be done. This is a comprehensive text that has been completely updated to document the accomplishments of the research that has been carried out over the past ten years. Although the incidence of AIDS in infants and children in the United States and Europe has declined, it has increased dramatically in other parts of the world, especially in Africa and Asia where nearly 1,600 infants are born daily with HIV infections.

An important section of this third edition is the one on "Diagnostic Challenges, Pathogenesis, and Transmission," which outlines the "dramatic explosion of new knowledge about HIV itself, its kinetics, tissue tropism, and pathogenesis as well as in the immunological mechanisms that contribute to both its control and disease manifestations." In addition to the previously mentioned section, other sections cover: "Evolving Epidemiology of HIV," "Clinical Manifestations in Infants, Children, and Adolescents," "Medical Management and Prevention," and "Legal, Economic and Public Policy Issues." This is a highly recommended book for all medical libraries.

1022. Tyler's Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals, by James E. Robbers, Varro E. Tyler. 1999. Haworth Press, 10 Alice St., Binghamton, NY 13904-1580. 287p., bibliog., index. ISBN 0-7890-0159-4, 0-7890-0160-8pbk. $49.95, $19.95pbk. (Descriptors: Herbs)

The use of herbs or phytomedicinals in the United States has grown over the past few years. Research on herbs on their efficacy and safety has been conducted mainly in Germany with the United States only recently beginning to do research in this area. With the increased interest in herbs there has been an increase in the published literature. Unfortunately, not all of this literature is true. This book is an attempt to provide useful and authoritative information for the layperson. The first two chapters cover the basic principles of herbs and the regulatory dilemmas that face the manufacture and distribution of herbs. The rest of the book covers herbs as they are used in digestive system problems; kidney, urinary tract, and prostate problems; respiratory tract problems; cardiovascular system problems; nervous system disorders; endocrine and metabolic problems, arthritic and musculoskeletal disorders; problems of the skin, mucous membranes and gingiva; performance and immune deficiencies. A recommended book for personal and public libraries as well as academic and medical libraries performing research on herbs.

1023. Tyler's Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies, 4th edition by Steven Foster, Varro E. Tyler. 1999. Haworth Press, 10 Alice St., Binghamton, NY13904-1580. 442p., bibliog., index. ISBN 0-7890-0705-3. $49.95. (Descriptors: Herbs)

This is an encyclopedia of herbs arranged alphabetically by the common name of the herb. Each herb is described, including some history and early uses of the herb. Its current uses are included with an indication of whether or not they are recommended. Public libraries will want several circulating copies as well as a copy for reference. Academic and medical libraries will want a copy to supplement the materials they have on herbal research. Of course, individuals who use herbs will want their own personal copy.

1024. Searching for Hawa's Secret, directed by Larry Krotz, produced by Joe MacDonald for the National Film Board of Canada. 1999. First Run/Icarus Films, 153 Waverly Place, 6th Fl, New York, NY 10014. Video, running time 46:50. E-Mail: mail@frif.com; Website: http://www.frif.com.

This video introduces the research of Frank Plummer, a Canadian microbiologist and AIDS researcher who has worked in and around Nairobi, Kenya since 1981. During the course of his early work on STDs, he was introduced to Hawa Chelangat, a prostitute and mother of five who had remained HIV negative over several years despite frequent sexual encounters without condoms in an environment with a high HIV contagion rate. The video presents the hard facts of rampant HIV infection in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 70% of worldwide HIV+ status exists, and is, not surprisingly, devastating the population of young women and mothers like Hawa. Poverty and a lack of education often leaves urban women like Hawa few options but commercial sex work to support their families.

The video presents a discussion of both the scientific background of Plummer's research as well as the human story of the researcher's and his subject's daily lives in the middle of a public health disaster. Hawa, and a small percentage of the Nairobi commercial sex workers whom Plummer treats in his clinic, seem to remain free of the virus while their clients and women around them become infected. Plummer's research has revealed that Hawa and the few women like her possess a rare form of HLA molecules in their blood cells. This rare form of a common component of the immune system may help in the development of a vaccine without using the HIV virus. Traditionally, vaccines employ the pathogen introduced into the body to stimulate resistance, but a vaccine developed from attributes of Hawa's blood would avoid introducing HIV to the individual.

Searching for Hawa's Secret performs multiple tasks in its presentation, discussing the day to day life of women and community health efforts in a large Kenyan city, as well as the integration of Canadian research efforts and the struggle to stay afloat in an under-funded branch of medical research. Through watching this video one gains an appreciation of the AIDS epidemic as it impacts Africa, and the gap in funds and research between North America and the African continent. While the realities of grant proposals and inequitable allocation of public funds set a somber tone for the goals of Plummer's research team, ultimately this video presents a hopeful attitude toward the team's successes and future development. It presents a clear and balanced picture of the science involved that can be understood by audiences in high school or above. The human drama of poverty, disease and prostitution are dealt with frankly and without sensationalism so that viewers get a realistic sense of life in contemporary Nairobi. Searching for Hawa's Secret has high quality production values and is presented with narration and interview in English and African Dialects with English subtitles. This video is recommended as a curriculum tool for public Health, African Studies, AIDS Education, or any Cross-Cultural Studies. (Guest reviewer, Steve Brantley, Resident Librarian, University of Illinois at Chicago Library).

Three other related films available from First Run Icarus Films are: The Heart of the Matter, by Gini Reticker, Amber Hollibaugh (A video that focuses on the story of Janice Jirau, an HIV-positive African American woman as she unravels the pieces of her life that contributed to her risk for HIV); Travis, by Richard Kotuk (A video about a remarkable young boy living with AIDS); and Paul Monette: The Brink of Summer's End, by Monte Bramer, Lesli Klainberg (A video about the life of Paul Monette).

1025. Wide Time: An HIV Odyssey. 1999. Aquarius Health Care Videos, PO Box 1159, Sherborn, MA 01770. Video, running time 56 minutes. $150.00. E-mail: aqvideos@tiac.net; Internet: http://www.aquariusproductions.com. (Descriptor: Education)

This is a film about Barbara Capelli and 8 other long-term AIDS survivors, revealing the hope and challenges offered by current treatment regimens. It is a moving film that is full of "stories, wisdom and survival tactics of long-term AIDS survivors, revealing their secrets for making life not only long--but wide. It is highly recommended for medical and nursing schools, hospitals, colleges, libraries, HIV/AIDS service groups, HIV test sites, cancer resource libraries, and detox programs. It, also, is a teaching tool for caregivers, family, and friends.

1026. Hopes & Fears: Rusti's Story. 1999. Aquarius Health Care Videos, PO Box 1159, Sherborn, MA 01770. Video, running time 23 minutes. $99.00. E-mail: aqvideos@tiac.net; Internet: http://www.aquariusproductions.com. (Descriptors: Biography)

This is the story of a Bronx, New York resident, Rusti Miller-Hill who is a mother, housing coordinator for people with AIDS, former drug user, ex-offender, and 5-year AIDS survivor. It chronicles her struggle to make a critical treatment decision as she listens to HIV medical practitioners and treatment educators. This is an excellent teaching tool to show how the AIDS epidemic is now affecting women, families, and people of color. It is highly recommended for all medical libraries.

1027. Men Like Us: The GMHC Complete Guide to Gay Men's Sexual, Physical, and Emotional Well-Being, by Daniel Wolfe. 2000. Ballantine Publishg Group/ Random House, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036. 627p., illus., bibliog., index. ISBN 0-345-41496-9, 0-345-41495-0pbk. $39.95, $24.95pbk. (Descriptors: Gay Men; Health and Hygiene; Sexual Behavior; Safe Sex; Mental Health)

The Gay Men's Health Crisis was formed in 1981 in response to the AIDS crisis. It relied on volunteers, fierce gay pride, and a commitment to combining medical expertise with wisdom gained from first-hand experience. It became the model for gay men clinics throughout the United States, expanding to serve men, women, and children with HIV and those who cared for them. Through the 19 years of working with gay men, a mammoth amount of information was collected on all aspects of gay men's sexual, physical, and emotional well-Being. This collected information is now brought together in a single volume, becoming a primary resource for individuals and libraries. Although it is comprehensive, some will object to some things that have been left out or just touched on lightly. There is not much information for bisexuals or transgendered individuals. It is, however, THE guide for the gay male, young and old.

There is a wealth of information in this book that can be found in many other books and pamphlets. Here it is brought together through the wisdom of doctors, lawyers, and therapists as well as ordinary gay men across the country. This guide provides advice on how to cope with insurance, medicaid, hospitals, and serious illness, as well as how to live a healthful life in this black time of AIDS. The 13 chapters cover: "The Anatomy of Pleasure," "Sex Acts and Facts," "Two to Tango: Cruising, Coupling, and Communication," "Sex Troubles," "Skin Deep," "Your Are What You Eat," "What's Up Doc," "Coming of Age," "Are You Positive? Treating HIV," "Coping with Illness," "Of Sound Mind," "We are Family: Friends, Long-Term Partners, and the Rest of the Clan," and "Spirituality and Community." There is a list of resources for the gay man and a list for transgenders, transvestites, and bisexuals.

This is a highly recommended book for all public and academic libraries as well as personal libraries.


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