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The Guide to Living with HIV Infection.

The Guide to Living with HIV Infection is a book of "medical facts, practical advice, and emotional support for people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and AIDS-related complex (ARC) and for [their] caregivers, families, and friends." Written by an infectious disease physician and a science writer, the book provides a readable and comprehensive resource for anyone affected by HIV infection. The chapters are each free-standing, so as to provide useful information without requiring that the book be read cover to cover. Though information on specific medical problems is included (in a useful problem-oriented format), most of the text addresses the broad range of patient's concerns: what to do when first diagnosed; how to prevent transmission; and the effects of HIV on the body, emotions, and relationships. Guidelines for utilizing medical care are presented in a balanced and straightforward manner, including what to do "when you feel well" as well as "when you feel sick." The complex structure of the health care system is described, from the appropriate role of primary care physicians to the function of teaching hospitals and research protocols. There is also extensive coverage of such practical matters as financing medical care, identifying and using local and personal support systems, putting one's affairs in order, and preparing for death. Finally, the book is well indexed, and includes a useful glossary and listing of national resources. This book is an excellent guide for both patients and their caregivers (including their physicians). It presents the kind of balanced information, understanding, and support we would like to be able to give to all of our patients who suffer from this tragic and complex disease.

Steven R. Lane, MD, MPH Department of Family and Community Medicine University of California, San Francisco

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Author:Lane, Steven R.
Publication:Journal of Family Practice
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Feb 1, 1992
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