Epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani has worked on the front lines of HIV/AIDS research for more than a decade, talking to sex workers, drug users, health officials and bureaucrats alike in an effort to determine why 40 million people are living with HIV — and what can be done to curb the epidemic.
Pisani's new book, The Wisdom of Whores, looks at the bureaucracy surrounding AIDS research and treatment, and offers an alternative for the future.
"It would mean spending lots more of the available money on prostitutes, addicts and gay guys, and lots less on school kids, pregnant women and church groups," Pisani writes. "It would mean making fun things (sex, drugs) safe, instead of trying to make safe things (abstinence, monogamy) fun."
Pisani lives in Bangkok and southwestern Ireland. She has worked with the World Bank, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.