Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFixme

PAPERBACKS

August 29, 1993|CHARLES SOLOMON

HISTORY OF AIDS: Emergence and Origin of a Modern Pandemic by Mirko D. Grmek translated from the French by Russell C. Maulitz & Jacalyn Duffin (Princeton University Press: $16.95; 279 pp.). Although AIDS is widely believed to have appeared around 1980, Mirko Grmek's "biography" of the disease reveals the virus existed in 1940: A generation later, a combination of promiscuity, ease of travel and, ironically, improved medical technology facilitated its dissemination. Grmek concentrates on the history and sociology of the disease, offering a judicious evaluation of the controversy surrounding its discovery, an examination of the political rhetoric it has engendered and a condemnation of the politicians who allowed it to spread because it initially attacked "marginal" populations. As the number of cases reaches ever more appalling levels and a cure and vaccine continue to elude researchers, Grmek cannot offer optimistic conclusions. But he presents an intelligent, balanced study that should be read by anyone concerned about the epidemic.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|