In the ten years since the first cases of AIDS were reported, the disease has spread around the world. Every country has had to come up with policies suited to its own conditions, economy, culture, and institutions. The differences among their approaches are striking. This volume, the first international comprehensive comparison of responses to AIDS, is a unique guide to the world's most urgent public health crisis.
Sixteen leading experts in public health, social science, government, and public policy from USA, Canada, Germany, Australia, Spain, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Japan candidly recount and analyze the responses of their own nations and comment on the lessons that can be drawn from each country's experience. For each country, they look critically at the tragic statistics of AIDS incidence; the circumstances of AIDS's first appearance; public health traditions of mandatory screening, contact tracing, and quarantine; attitudes toward drug abuse, homosexuality, sex education; publicity about AIDS; legal and customary protections of civil rights, minority groups, medical confidentiality; access to health care and insurance; and the interplay of formal and informal interest groups in shaping policy. The spectrum of AIDS policy ranges from severe "contain-and-control" programs to much more liberal plans based on education, cooperation, and inclusion.
No matter what policy a nation has constructed to deal with AIDS, the coming decade will test how well that policy conforms to democratic ideals. By scrutinizing the responses to AIDS so far, this book aims to give countries around the world a chance to learn from each others' mistakes and triumphs. It will be essential reading for all students and professionals in public health and public policy.