Aids, Fear, and Society: Challenging the Dreaded Disease
(Series in Death Education, Aging, and Health Care)

Kenneth J. Doka


As we celebrate an "anniversary" in the life of the HIV/AIDS disease it is important that we be clear on its history, its social struggles and the important counseling, friendship and spiritual issues that must accompany our presence with those on this journey if we are to be honestly present and supportive.

Doka has a clear approach as an historian/sociologist, clinician and pastor. They all come together in ways that will inform and move you off your point of stuckness to get involved. Part 2 gives us a decisive history of the nature and responses to dreaded diseases, generally, and how diseases impact our societies, communities, values and beliefs.

Part 2, quite dramatically, identifies AIDS as "the archetype of the dreaded disease." Crisis unfolding, social (and otherwise) panic, the origin of the disease and ways in which the medical community both helped and hindered. We explore the policies, politics and the realities of public health. In what ways is AIDS a "social disease." There was a particularly useful discussion of homophobia, the great "sin" of contemporary culture. The book concludes with helpful directions moving us purposefully into the future of society and disease.

The Rev. Dr. Richard B. Gilbert, The World Pastoral Care Center
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