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Book and Media Reviews
June 17, 2009

The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucracies, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS

JAMA. 2009;301(23):2500-2505. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.884

In The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucracies, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS, Elizabeth Pisani becomes a whistle-blower to the multibillion-dollar global AIDS industry, in which she has long been an insider. Using keen observation and an epidemiologist's attention to data, Pisani provides a rarely encountered analysis of what has gone wrong with the response to global AIDS and the blind spots that have resulted from political correctness, ideology, and the demands of fundraising. Pisani was brave to write this book and risk condemnation from the very organizations for which she has worked. Some blind spots remain unchallenged, however, including a failure to focus adequately on primary prevention in proposed solutions to halting new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections.

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