Book Review: Riva Miller and Derval Murray, Social Work and HIV/AIDS (Practitioners’

(1998) Venture Press Birmingham.

This useful book comes in the Practitioners’ Guide series in the social work 
context, it is written by two experienced social workers who are also therapists in
 the field of HIV and AIDS. The book takes a generalist stance and gives an
 extensive outline of what social workers need to know about, communicate
 sensitively about and advocate for effectively in the field of HIV and AIDS.

Organised into six main chapters it gives a clear background to the development of
 both the HIV and the services developed around it. Current issues are dealt with, 
giving clear definitions and an epidemiological overview world wide. There is a
 useful section on laboratory tests and overview of up to date trends in treatment and
 the implications of different treatment options. The chapter on dilemmas and
 practice issues although aimed at social work practice is relevant to anyone 
working with people with HIV and AIDS. The issues are presented in bullet points
 followed by a short discussion and are sufficient to raise awareness and stimulate 
thinking. References to wider reading are found throughout the text.

The chapter on counselling interventions is well done with some good examples of  
how a generic worker may approach a particular issue. Case studies are used to 
illustrate various points. The last chapter gives further case examples and discusses 
some of the dilemmas faced by workers and clients in this field. The book is laid
 out clearly with easy to see boxes summarising points.

This book is useful to counsellors and therapist in as much as it is a quick reference
 book on current issues in the field of HIV and AIDS. The overview and the useful
 layout of the book make it easy to refer to and because it addresses not only facts 
but also considers dilemmas and issues it is stimulating and helpful. The 
counselling examples are very general and basic.

The text covers a very complex topic in a rational and helpful way the book can be 
read quickly and can be referred to as and when needed. I would recommend it as 
a quick reference text to counsellors and therapists who may well deal with people 
with HIV and AIDS but who would not have specialist knowledge of the issue 

Renate Thome (Lecturer/Counsellor, University of Wales, Swansea.)