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

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

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


In "The Wisdom of Whores", epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani brings honesty, wit and startling pragmatism to the tawdry front lines of sex and drugs.

She explains how we could shut down HIV in most of the world with a few simple steps, with less money than we already have.

We could do it now. But shockingly, it isn't happening. From the back streets to the boardrooms, politics, ideology and cash have bulldozed through scientific evidence and common sense. "The Wisdom of Whores" is both a riveting expose of the AIDS industry and a penetrating analysis of where we've gone wrong.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400 pages, map
  • Publisher: Granta Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: HIV / AIDS: social aspects
  • ISBN: 9781847080769



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Picaresque popular science - who knew that such a genre even existed? This is a fascinating read, roughly chronological as Pisani's career spans the decades. She travels through Asia and Africa as a journalist, then becomes a epidemiologist and a UN AIDS expert. She's obviously outgoing and warm in personality despite her claims to numbers nerdery. She genuinely likes all the unlikely people that she listens to and learns from.A no-nonsense type, Pisani will challenge any popular or political wisdom when it doesn't line up with the facts. Which it often doesn't, even today. Sadly, the USA is the main obstructionist, chaining their aid money to ineffective programs that refuse to acknowledge the use of needle exchanges and condoms, and even pressure their scientists to lie about them. Reality is not the religious right's forte, whether it's the Vatican or the US fundies spreading dangerous lies about condoms. But it's not just religious problems. The prevention models developed in first world gay communities are widely seen as best practice, but they don't translate so well to 3rd world drug users and prostitutes.

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