Viral Sex

Viral Sex : The Nature of AIDS

3.71 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
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The AIDS threat has mobilized an unprecedented research effort to understand and control the disease. We have discovered its agent, HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus. Every day we know more about this complex retrovirus and how it works, but we still lack an effective defense strategy. This book will give the nonspecialist an AIDS overview and a vantage point from which to observe and support the continuing struggle with HIV. It also will urge that we look beyond this deadly virus. As we seek vaccines and therapies to stop its fatal course, we must understand that the real cause of AIDS is not HIV. It is the environmental context that allowed the virus to escape its natural host and enter the human population at this particular time in history. The question is why, after millenia of contact between African monkeys and humans, has SIV (Simian immunodeficiency virus) only now entered the human population in plague proportions? Is its introduction a purely random and natural disaster, or is it somehow the result of human social and cultural evolution?
This book explains how human encroachment on the African monkey habitat set up conditions that made it possible and almost likely that the virus would successfully jump to a new host, with the consequences that we now see as the world wide AIDS epidemic. It presents the full history of the various subtypes of the virus, and the epidemics they cause, and assembles the future threats in every region of the world. The book argues that facing our responsibility for the AIDS outbreak holds the key to reversing the damage. If we study our actions and this lethal natural reaction, we can find ways to halt the AIDS and prevent similar plagues that could erupt in the future.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 160 x 235.2 x 26.2mm | 646.94g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • black and white photographs and line figures
  • 0195097289
  • 9780195097283

Table of contents

1. The most disarming virus ; 2. The rise of the western AIDS epidemic ; 3. HIV baby booms: epidemics come and go ; 4. The rainforest roots of HIV ; 5. HIV-0 and HIV-1: the chimpanzee connection ; 6. HIV-2: the sooty mangabey connection ; 7. Searching for SIV in monkey mummies ; 8. Beyond HIV and SIV: the cat connection ; 9. The mystery suitor: HIV's next move ; 10. Viral sex and AIDS: response to instability ; 11. Retrovirus survival: the human threat ; 12. Human survival: vaccines to disarm HIV ; Epilogue ; Glossary ; Index ; Bibliography
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Review quote

Readers familiar with HIV/AIDS will encounter much that is provocative and engaging. General readers will find the book accessible because Goudsmit takes care to explain technical sections and concepts in simple and understanding ways * The Lancet * It is a well-written and provocative treatise about the origins of HIV and about the evolution of this most perplexing virus. As such, it is far from outdated * The Lancet * a valuable stimulus for debate * New Scientist *
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About Jaap Goudsmit

Jaap Goudsmit, M.D., is Professor of Virology and Chairman of the Department of Human Retrovirology at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He is universally recognized as one of the leading scientists working on HIV and AIDS, ranking second only to Robert Gallo in papers published (according to an article in Science in 1993). He recently became Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.
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Rating details

7 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 29% (2)
4 14% (1)
3 57% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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