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Book and Media Reviews
August 6, 2008


JAMA. 2008;300(5):584-585. doi:10.1001/jama.300.5.584

The history of infectious diseases reaches as far back as that of humankind itself. Throughout the centuries, infectious diseases have decided battles, decimated cities, influenced the fate of empires, and are still directly responsible for more than 25% of the 57 million annual deaths worldwide.1 Most recently, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pandemic has posed multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary medical, biomedical, and social challenges never before encountered or imagined. HIV/AIDS now threatens to surpass the devastation and catastrophic consequences of the 1918 influenza pandemic and the Black Death, each of which claimed more than 50 million human lives.1

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