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