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.
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