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May 11, 1984

AIDS: The Medical Mystery

Author Affiliations

Howard Brown Memorial Clinic Northwestern University Medical School Office of AIDS Activities Chicago Department of Health

JAMA. 1984;251(18):2433. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340420093036

This book is an ambitious attempt to synthesize the many pieces of the growing acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) puzzle into a coherent account. Aimed at both the medical and lay audiences the result is, as the disease itself, a mystery.

Persons involved in AIDS research will find interesting tidbits not readily available elsewhere and lay readers will obtain an up-to-date overview of the disease. But sophisticated and unsophisticated readers alike are likely to be confused by the many contradictions contained in this book. Contradictions that result from the nature of the disease and our incomplete understanding of it are one thing. But the most serious contradictions in this book stem from the authors' attempt to be authoritative in areas that are as yet controversial and unsettled.

Written by a self-described "central figure in the AIDS field" and his laboratory-supervisor spouse, this book is conveniently divided into eight chapters that