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The Wisdom of Whores
Bureaucrats, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS

Pisani, Elizabeth
Publisher:  Viking Canada
Year Published:  2008  
Pages:  372pp   Price:  $35  
Resource Type:  Book

Pisani's book The Wisdom of Whores is a scathing attack on the bureaucratic international aid communities that deal with HIV/AIDS. Topics include: injection of drugs and the idea of harm reduction by the use of clean needles and methadone to prevent the spread of HIV, the question of economic resources and how and where they are spent, the concept of abstinence and how the U.S. administration views has undermined the use of condoms.

Abstract:  Pisani's book The Wisdom of Whores is a scathing attack on the bureaucrats and fossilized thinking of the people who govern the international aid communities that deal with HIV/AIDS. She interviews pimps, prostitutes, addicts, cops and rehab workers, sex trade workers, male and female and transgendered who offer their insight on AIDS. Topics include: injection of drugs and the idea of harm reduction by the use of clean needles and methadone to prevent the spread of HIV, the question of economic resources and how and where they are spent, the concept of abstinence and how the Bush administration with its right leaning religious views has undermined the use of condoms. Pisani looks at Indonesia, Africa and China and asserts that a sweeping pandemic through South Africa would not necessarily mean the same pandemic for Indonesia. The pattern outside of Africa is a concentrated epidemics with high risk behavior. Her language is straight forward and pithy that asks pertinent questions about the role of the United Nations and policy makers at every level.

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