Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The AIDS Crises: What We Can Do -- Deborah Dortzbach and W. Meredith Long

This book is an excellent introduction to the AIDS pandemic. If you need AIDS 101 -- this is one of the books for you. If you already have basic knowledge the AIDS epidemic, this book is an excellent refresher.

The authors do a good job of talking about the broader issues related to HIV/AIDS, outlining the history of the AIDS pandemic and providing some basic statistics.

An old friend of mine (Winkie Pratney) once told me that a book was worth it if you came away with at least one good idea, concept, or new piece of information for every $1 you spend. That was a number of years ago, and with inflation, it is now probably one good idea for every $3 you spend.

Based on that, I would recommend this book for the following reasons:

1. The excellent retelling of Biblical stories that illustrated the response Christians and the Church should have towards AIDS. In particular I thought the retelling of Christ's encounter with the woman caught in adultery was very effective.

2. I thought Chapter 6 entitled Avoiding the Violence of AIDS was excellent -- perhaps worth the price of the book alone. The chapter starts out talking about David and Bathsheba and Amnon and Tamar and the long-term implications of bad choices. But the real focus of the chapter is the lack of rights that the majority of women have in the developing world. Women in most of the world have little choice in relation to marriage, sex, and almost everything else in everyday life. The way that Dortzbach and Long talk about this major issue related to the spread of HIV/AIDS is simply outstanding.

3. Chapter 9 on AIDS, Sex, Sin and Forgiveness. Simply an excellent discussion of the issues.

Bottom line -- if you want to get a good introduction to the AIDS Pandemic and how the Church should respond -- this is one of the books to get.

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