Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Own Country- My Own Thoughts

I spent the last several days engaged in reading some not so light material, Abraham Verghese's My Own Country, a first person account of an infectious diseases physician's experience with HIV/AIDS in rural Tennessee, in the mid-1980's.

What fascinated me most about the book was not so much the details of the evolving HIV epidemic in the 1980's, but rather, the inherent challenges of managing an infectious disease without primary treatment (pre-antiretrovirals), and the stigma associated with the diagnosis. In Tennessee, much as in other parts of the country during the mid 1980's, to be HIV positive was to suffer in secrecy, lack familial and social support, confront blatant homophobia, and be faced with disdain and refusal of medical care from some physicians and nurses. 

Anyone with an interest in HIV/AIDS epidemiology should give the book a proper perusal.  

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