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3rd ed. Ed King K Holmes, P Frederick Sparling, Per-Anders Mardh, Stanley M Lemon, Walter E Stamm, Peter Piot, Judith N Wasserheit. $170.50. New York: McGraw Hill, 1999. ISBN 0-07-029688-X.
The new edition of this classic is long overdue. It would be no exaggeration to say that the readers will not be disappointed. The basic layout and chapters' sequence are similar to the 1990 edition, but with the introduction of several sections to each of the 10 parts of the book. This new structure allows better grouping of topics and concepts, and makes referencing extremely easy from the list of contents. Prime examples of this are chapters dealing with HIV infection, which are grouped under their own designated sections, rather than being part of a subsection of viral STDs, as was in earlier editions.
The new edition contains 107 chapters, with expanded sections on socioeconomic impact of STD, epidemiology in both developed and developing world, sexuality and behaviour profiles of groups in need of intervention. Further chapters towards the end of the book devote entirely to STD/HIV prevention in a global context. Finally, legal, political, and ethical issues were dealt with in depth. My only regret is the omission of the chapters on anatomy of the normal genital tracts. However, normal genital flora and mucosal defences are well covered. These are in addition to the extremely comprehensive review of the medical aspect of STD/HIV management. The most impressive aspect of this book, despite its size and time taken to press, is the updated information available, especially pertaining to antiretroviral therapy and drug interactions. The appendix with list of internet resources further allows readers to obtain necessary state of the art information.
This book is one of the “must have” books for any clinicians dealing with these infections, and an essential reference book for any medical library. It is also a valuable source of compact information for anyone whose work requires an understanding of issues surrounding STD/HIV, including epidemiologists, sociologists, behaviour scientists, policymakers, and politicians, to name just a few.
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