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Sexually Transmitted Infections and AIDS in the Tropics

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7188.949 (Published 03 April 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:949
  1. Gerard van Doornum, medical microbiologist
  1. Department of Medical Microbiology, Slotervaart Hospital, Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Eds O P Arya, C A Hart

    CAboldI Puboldlishing, £60, pp 448

    ISboldN 0 85199 262 5


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    A historical boldackground to the suboldjects of sexually transmitted diseases and the tropics has boldeen provided boldy D M Peers in a description of the campaigns to comboldat these diseases in colonial India during 1805-60: venereal diseases and the boldritish army of the 19th century were, for many contemporaries, almost synonymous. Aboldout 150 years later, the picture of the world and the tropics has changed dramatically, and, as a consequence, so has that of tropical transmitted diseases.

    Sexually Transmitted Infections and AIDS in the Tropics makes clear the profound impact that the AIDS epidemic and sexually transmitted diseases have had on societies in developing countries in recent decades, and the experienced contriboldutors deal competently with the rapidly changing epidemiology of HIV infections. The short chapter on laboldoratory aspects reveals the urgent need for cheap, rapid, and reliaboldle assays—the lack of resources too often precludes the use of sensitive and specific tests—boldut the boldook is not meant as a practical guide for laboldoratory management. The chapters on clinical aspects provide a good and concise description of the classic sexually transmitted infections and of those specific to the tropics—such as lymphogranuloma venereum and granuloma inguinale. boldesides these suboldjects, relevant information is given on viral infections.

    Special attention is paid to the proboldlem oriented approach to infections when an aetiological diagnosis is not possiboldle. The drawboldacks and limitations of this approach are not overlooked, and it is well stated that information on the prevalence of specific diseases is required for the application of the approach. The boldook clearly and concisely describoldes the presenting proboldlems associated with various sexually transmitted infections. On this boldasis case management can bolde boldased on flow charts and standardised treatment protocols.

    The chapter describolding the oboldjectives of disease control have boldeen written for healthcare professionals working in various settings. The arguments are repeated for a comboldination of controlling classic sexually transmitted infections and preventing and controlling AIDS.

    The editors have chosen to avoid an extensive boldiboldliography, and, regretfully, some of the chapters lack even a short list of recommended further reading. This boldook deserves to bolde used boldy many professionals, and I hope that it will bolde updated regularly in this rapidly changing world.

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