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The Wisdom of Whores [Hardcover]

Elizabeth Pisani
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

May 6 2008

This sure to be controversial book addresses how sex and drugs have turned the global epidemic of HIV into a billion-dollar-a-year industry. Epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani takes a no-holds-barred approach to finding out exactly why 40 million people are living with HIV and 28 million have already died of AIDS when we have the knowledge, the money, and the means to wipe out the disease in 90 percent of the world. She makes a convincing argument that the measures needed to control the disease are not impossible, just unpopular. "It would mean spending lots more of the available money on prostitutes, addicts, and gay guys, and lots less on school kids, pregnant women, and church groups. It would mean making fun things (sex, drugs) safe, instead of trying to make safe things (abstinence, monogamy) fun."


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About the Author

US-born scientist, writer, and traveller Elizabeth Pisani has been working with the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and others to improve our understanding of the HIV epidemic and prompt an appropriate response.

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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent ebook on the HIV epidemic Oct. 22 2011
Format:Paperback
The author is an epidemiologist who works for UNAIDS. The book is the story of her life in travelling all over the world tracking the AIDS epidemic with those living with the Virus sharing their wisdom with her, what people living with HIV were telling the author and how she learned very much herself from those infected and affected by living with HIV or how they remained HIV negative especially in red light districts like Thailand. As an RN I found this book an easy read, I enjoyed her style of writing, and her being so open to learning from others living with HIV around the world. It gave me a truly global lerspective on the epidemic, and an appreciation how small UNAIDS actually is.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raking through the muck of the AIDS industry Dec 3 2008
By E. A. Lovitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If Michael Moore were to dress up in women's clothing and prowl through the red-light districts of Jarkata, we might get a book similar to "The Wisdom of Whores." But this author not only has Moore's street smarts and a lively writing style, she also has a PhD in infectious disease epidemiology. Elizabeth Pisani knows whereof she speaks, because she has spent years on the streets and in the dingy bars where AIDS futures are traded.

"Whores" is one of a rare species of book such as Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (Enriched Classics) or Jessica Mitford's "The American Way of Death Revisited" that has the power to reform an industry. In this case, the author exposes the AIDS prevention industry that sprang up when First World governments started to shovel money into the vital struggle against HIV retrovirus. Or at least, that's where they should have shoveled it. If you think that the U.S. Government's emphasis on chastity over latex is a great way to spend your tax dollars, you definitely need to read this book.

I was particularly interested in learning why the AIDS epidemic in Asia has not taken off with the same alacrity as it did in South and East Africa.

Elizabeth Pisani may resemble one of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's ethereal Pre-Raphaelite models, but she talks about sex, drugs, and AIDS in the language of her subjects: the sex workers of Indonesia, China, East Timor, and Africa (foreskin soup, anyone?). She describes how governments are wasting billions of AIDS dollars on "schoolgirls and housewives and Boy Scouts" when they should be concentrating on preventive measures for the people who are actually at risk for this deadly disease: "junkies and gay guys and the people who buy and sell sex."

If you are someone who believes that "junkies and gay guys and the people who buy and sell sex" are getting what they deserve, this author has a message for you, too: remember who is infecting the housewives, Boy Scouts, and even the unborn children. The HIV-positive carrier could be your boyfriend, your sister, or your grandchild. Is there anyone in this 21st century without a friend or relative who is infected with this deadly retrovirus?

Some people may object to the frank language of `Whores.' Others may object to its message that condoms will do more to limit the spread of AIDS than misguided attempts at abolishing the sex trade. Most of us will have our eyes opened on what really needs to be done with our tax dollars in order to mitigate the worldwide AIDS crisis.

Review copy supplied by author
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raking through the muck of the AIDS industry Dec 9 2012
By E. A. Lovitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If Michael Moore were to dress up in women's clothing and prowl through the red-light districts of Jarkata, we might get a book similar to "The Wisdom of Whores." But this author not only has Moore's street smarts and a lively writing style, she also has a PhD in infectious disease epidemiology. Elizabeth Pisani knows whereof she speaks, because she has spent years on the streets and in the dingy bars where AIDS futures are traded.

"Whores" is one of a rare species of book such as Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" or Jessica Mitford's "The American Way of Death" that has the power to reform an industry. In this case, the author exposes the AIDS prevention industry that sprang up when First World governments started to shovel money into the vital struggle against HIV retrovirus. Or at least, that's where they should have shoveled it. If you think that the U.S. Government's emphasis on chastity over latex is a great way to spend your tax dollars, you definitely need to read this book.

I was particularly interested in learning why the AIDS epidemic in Asia has not taken off with the same alacrity as it did in South and East Africa.

Elizabeth Pisani may resemble one of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's ethereal Pre-Raphaelite models, but she talks about sex, drugs, and AIDS in the language of her subjects: the sex workers of Indonesia, China, East Timor, and Africa (foreskin soup, anyone?). She describes how governments are wasting billions of AIDS dollars on "schoolgirls and housewives and Boy Scouts" when they should be concentrating on preventive measures for the people who are actually at risk for this deadly disease: "junkies and gay guys and the people who buy and sell sex."

If you are someone who believes that "junkies and gay guys and the people who buy and sell sex" are getting what they deserve, this author has a message for you, too: remember who is infecting the housewives, Boy Scouts, and even the unborn children. The HIV-positive carrier could be your boyfriend, your sister, or your grandchild. Is there anyone in this 21st century without a friend or relative who is infected with this deadly retrovirus?

Some people may object to the frank language of `Whores.' Others may object to its message that condoms will do more to limit the spread of AIDS than misguided attempts at abolishing the sex trade. Most of us will have our eyes opened on what really needs to be done with our tax dollars in order to mitigate the worldwide AIDS crisis.

Review copy supplied by author
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book! Sept. 1 2012
By Hannah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is an entertaining and informative book, would definitely recommend it to anyone who interested in learning more about HIV, the way it spreads and the reluctance of policy makers to make real changes to prevent it killing yet more lives.
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