The AIDS Pandemic

Complacency, Injustice, and Unfulfilled Expectations

By Lawrence O. Gostin

496 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 25 illus., 11 tables, 5 maps, 8 figs., notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-1469-4
    Published: March 2015
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-7583-4
    Published: November 2005
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-7200-5
    Published: November 2005

Studies in Social Medicine

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In this collection of essays, Lawrence O. Gostin, an internationally recognized scholar of AIDS law and policy, confronts the most pressing and controversial issues surrounding AIDS in America and around the world. He shows how HIV/AIDS affects the entire population--infected and uninfected--by influencing our social norms, our economy, and our country's role as a world leader.

Now in the third decade of this pandemic, the nation and the world still fail to respond to the needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS and continue to tolerate injustice in their treatment, Gostin argues. AIDS, both in the United States and globally, deeply affects poor and marginalized populations, and many U.S. policies are based on conservative moral values rather than public health and social justice concerns.

Gostin tackles the hard social, legal, political, and ethical issues of the HIV/AIDS pandemic: privacy and discrimination, travel and immigration, clinical trials and drug pricing, exclusion of HIV-infected health care workers, testing and treatment of pregnant women and infants, and needle-exchange programs. This book provides an inside account of AIDS policy debates together with incisive commentary. It is indispensable reading for advocates, scholars, health professionals, lawyers, and the concerned public.

About the Author

Lawrence O. Gostin, professor and director of the Center for Law and the Public's Health at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities, has participated in many AIDS policymaking decisions since the beginning of the pandemic. Gostin has devoted a career to AIDS policy and law, serving national agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and Institute of Medicine, as well as international bodies such as the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS. Gostin is one of the early pioneers in the movement to ensure basic human rights for those living with HIV/AIDS.
For more information about Lawrence O. Gostin, visit the Author Page.


"[The AIDS Pandemic brings] together [Gostin's] many essays in an effort to understand past failures and future possibilities."--The Nation

"[A] comprehensive and informative text. . . . This is an excellent resource for anyone working with or concerned about HIV and AIDS."--Choice

"A comprehensive review of the social, ethical, political, and legal debates surrounding the AIDS pandemic. . . . Well organized. . . . Covers a wide range of topics. . . . Easy reading. . . . The author writes from the perspective of an insider intimately involved with the creation and evolution of AIDS policies. . . . Gostin's public policy arguments are evidence-based. . . . The AIDS Pandemic is a well-written book that accomplishes its stated goal, to provide an extensive review of U.S. HIV/AIDS laws and policies. The book's greatest strength is its comprehensiveness. . . . This book's lasting value is that it depicts clearly how AIDS laws and policies have and continue to negatively impact on the lives of HIV-infected individuals."--American Journal of Bioethics

"This is an important book at the intersection of law, human rights and public policy. With a wealth of evidence from the US and globally, Lawrence Gostin makes an incontrovertible case that good public health must be grounded in the respect for rights and dignity."--Dr. Peter Piot, Executive Director, Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS)

"Gostin has done more than any other scholar to illuminate the legal issues concerning AIDS. What is particularly striking about the book is how well it demonstrates the complex interaction between sociopolitical forces and the law."--New England Journal of Medicine

"Gostin has provided an account of the AIDS epidemic and its critical legal, ethical, and policy challenges that is not only learned and comprehensive but up-to-date and thought-provoking. Centrally involved himself in AIDS policy formulation over the last two decades in American and international institutions, he offers an overview that is authoritative and sensitive, and that looks beyond America to the resource-poor world where 95% of people with AIDS or HIV now live. For them, his conclusions on treatment access and other vital AIDS policy issues are profoundly important."--Justice Edwin Cameron, Supreme Court of Appeal, South Africa