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

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jun 17, 2008 - Science - 400 pages
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A flame-throwing epidemiologist talks about sex, drugs, and the mistakes (dismal), ideologies (vicious), and hopes (realistic) of international AIDS prevention.

When people ask Elizabeth Pisani what she does for a living, she says, "sex and drugs." As an epidemiologist researching AIDS, she's been involved with international efforts to halt the disease for fourteen years. With swashbuckling wit and fierce honesty, she dishes on herself and her colleagues as they try to prod reluctant governments to fund HIV prevention for the people who need it most—drug injectors, gay men, sex workers, and johns.Pisani chats with flamboyant Indonesian transsexuals about their boob jobs and watches Chinese streetwalkers turn away clients because their SUVs aren't nice enough. With verve and clarity, she shows the general reader how her profession really works; how easy it is to draw wrong conclusions from "objective" data; and, shockingly, how much money is spent so very badly. "Exhibit A": the 45 billion taxpayer dollars the Bush administration is committing to international AIDS programs.
 

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The wisdom of whores: bureaucrats, brothels, and the business of AIDS

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Despite billions of dollars in funding, international HIV-prevention efforts sometimes achieve only modest results, a reality the author sums up as the triumph of politics and ideology over sound ... Read full review

Contents

The Accidental Epidemiologist
1
Cooking Up an Epidemic
13
Landscapes of Desire
43
The Honesty
84
The Naked Truth
124
Sacred Cows
161
Articles of Faith
188
HIV Shoots
227
Ants in the SugarBowl
269
Full Circle
301
Notes
327
Bibliography
347
Index
365
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About the author (2008)

Elizabeth Pisani has lived in Indonesia at various times over the past twenty-five years, originally as a journalist and later as an HIV epidemiologist. The author of The Wisdom of Whores and Indonesia Etc., she is based in London.

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