Rethink HIV 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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The book is a series of academic papers discussing the various methods of treatment and preventive measures that are currently happening in Africa, from keeping women in school since there's a correlation between educated women and a drop in HIV infection rates to prevention of non-sexual transmission of HIV and more. Very thought-provoking and easily accessible information despite the papers being meant for an academic audience.
RethinkHIV is a rare book in that it has the audacity to question whether or not our current methods are working. Given that there's a finite amount of money to combat HIV, are we doing the best that we can with our approach? The book's cost-benefit analysis is much needed in combating one of the greatest public health issues in history.
This book takes a slightly different approach, however, in that most of it is actually written by others who offer expert opinions on what might be done to combat HIV. It's broken up into 6 different chapters: sexual transmission of HIV, prevention of non-sexual transmission, treatment, strengthening health systems, social policy interventions, and vaccine research and development, and each chapter also offers 2 "alternative perspectives" from other experts. Part II then ranks the opportunities and offers perspectives on the best options. It's not an especially easy read although the glossary at the beginning of the book helps with some of the "abbreviations and acronyms." And the academic format of research papers doesn't make for the the kind of reading that will have wide appeal and some will find Lomborg's approach of breaking things down almost into a cost/benefits analysis uncomfortable - especially when it's human lives we're talking about. But he's not arguing for decreasing the amount of funding for HIV but for spending money more wisely, and they take the hypothetical approach of how to spend an additional $2 billion each year over the next five years to achieve the most meaningful outcomes. And some who've grown tired of seeing our past efforts making slow progress will welcome this kind of practical approach, and others who are just curious - like myself - will just find it interesting.
If you aren't using this book for course work or research, there is still a great deal of value in the copy. For example, if you want to support HIV/AIDS charities or combat the disease, then reading this book will educate you on the methods currently helping the African populace the most. Your funds can then be directed where they will help best - like investing in the education of others (which is a point one can encounter outside of this book as well as within it - education is the death knell for many of the world's ills).
Don't let the idea of this book being an academic text discourage you from reading it. The material is more than accessible if you are passionate about combating HIV.
If you're looking for a well-researched, expert-rich, solution-recommending, and intelligently written book, though, and you're not scared by dense academic writing, I would recommend it.
I'm the adoptive mom of a child who is HIV positive, having been born in Africa and orphaned by AIDS. To me, this topic is more than academic - it's personal. While I know the ins and outs of caring for my child, I have been at a loss in understanding the complexities of the underlying problem, much less considering any possible solutions. This book explores the multi-facet issue of AIDS and HIV in Africa, doing more than simply lamenting the problem. It has potential to shape and change foreign policies and relations, and I hope it does.