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Viral Sex: The Nature of AIDS 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0195097283
ISBN-10: 0195097289
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Where did the AIDS viruses come from? Will we ever have a vaccine against them? What are the chances of still more, similar viruses appearing? These momentous questions are the subject of this book by a leading researcher on HIV and chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Aids Vaccine Initiative. Goudsmit provides evidence for some very interesting contentions, including the presence of an earlier form of an HIV virus in Europe as long ago as 1939 and the ability of non-HIV retroviruses to cause AIDS-like disease under the right conditions. Goudsmit explains that an important factor in the evolution of new, potentially deadly strains is the ability of retroviruses, including HIV, to reproduce sexually, producing recombinant offspring more dangerous than either parent. Goudsmit believes that the best hope for an AIDS vaccine lies in finding or creating a live virus conferring immunity to present HIV strains without causing disease. Although clearly written, this book is technical and sometimes speculative, but it provides important information on the past and future of AIDS. For academic and larger public libraries.?Marit MacArthur, Auraria Lib., Denver
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Goudsmit has worked with HIV for some 25 years and recounts not only some of his research but his theory of the beginnings of the virus and AIDS. Some of the theory is hypothetical (e.g., the chapter on monkey mummies), but much is solid science. Goudsmit shows how the various types and subtypes of the extended family of HIVs have developed in monkeys, other primates, and humans; he presents this material both chronologically and geographically. Among the most interesting aspects of this exposition are considerations of why certain HIV subtypes become more virulent than others, of the roles and effects of the viral load, of the length of symptom-free periods before AIDS becomes apparent, and of the route of infection. Goudsmit writes clearly and argues logically. Although some may be put off by the detail of Goudsmit's argument, those seriously interested in AIDS may find it basic for some time to come. William Beatty
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (June 12, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195097289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195097283
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,370,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am writing this because in chapter 8, the author tries to explain the means of tranferance of a feline blood disorder to primates in a captive population as being due to fighting, or licking, when in all likelyhood it was the external parasites, ie. ticks, which could have easily moved from cage to cage in ancient egypt. This is the only flaw I could find in this excellent text, realizing that it is all best guesses, all of which are very clearly explained, down to simians, and then as far back as our feline friends in ancient Egypt.
This was the first book I read, after finding out that my lover, and wife to be was HIV +, (odds are HIV 1E, or 1C). A wonderful narrative of the historical spread of HIV and HIV-like disorders. Very intelligently written, not dumbed down like all too many other books on HIV. Thankyou for informing me, the only way to fight back is through education, as it is the only weapon against fear. If someone you know or love has come to be HIV positive, this should be one of your first steps, and one of the first books you read. J-
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This very well written book will totally engage your attention by the end of the first chapter -- if not before. Even with the recent discovery of an HIV-chimpanzee association -- an association predicted by the author -- it is only the beginning of a fascinating travalogue into the phylogeny and origin of this group of retroviruses. The title is unfortunate. It does not convey the rich heuristics and detailed research that the author has captured in this wonderful book on HIV origins. I suppose some editor thought that the title would excite (some) readers. In fact, the title is a distraction to those who wish to learn more about the long trail of HIV and related viruses, stretching back two or more millennia in Africa. A must book for epidemiologists, medical historians and those interested in AIDS/HIV history.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sam Roza on April 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
Very objectively written, it is chock full of info from start to finish(and a look to the future as well), history, symptoms Etc. A full 5 stars for his book!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is THE book to read on the spread of AIDS and the HIV virus. It has the best coverage of the natural history of the HIV virus and related viruses I have found. Goudsmit explains HIV in terms of geography, ecology, and history. He is even-handed; his explanation of the controversy over the discovery of the HIV virus is clear and not contentious. The book is well referenced, with a good bibliography and a glossary.
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