Edited by Laura Mitchell, Bridie Howe, D. Ashley Price, Babiker Elawad and K. Nathan Sankar
Published May 2019 by Oxford University Press
Don’t be put off by the slight awkwardness of the title of this book, is it a good description of the subject matter covered in this excellent book. This book is a superb addition to the personal or departmental library for both specialists in sexual health and for practitioners in primary care. Speaking as a GP, there are not that many books around that would help healthcare professionals in primary care in these topic areas and this book would easily fit this requirement. As is often the case for many members of the excellent Oxford Medical Handbook series, they are more than just handbooks.
This is an excellent textbook coverage of the discipline and I suspect that for primary care healthcare professionals, this would probably be their only port of call for most common and less common standard scenarios. Within its 676 pages, there are huge volumes of information which will either help you manage a patient with a specific problem or simply add to your knowledge by reading around the subject.
The book is easy to read and find your way around and there are a few colour images in the middle of the book which are interesting in their own right. However, this is primarily a text driven book and as always the text is direct and to the point. This style makes for easy reading but it is rich in facts and like many other members of this successful series, it is practical and gets straight to the point. It is clear, covers a lot of ground and yet it is concise and does not shy away from areas that can be fuzzy. For example, is bacterial vaginosis a sexually transmitted disease or not? Not sure if so check out page 216 and in fact read on as it is an excellent and practical description of the topic.
Chapter 34 on contraception is a really good and concise view of the topic that does not take long to read. Yet it is packed with relevant and useful information and is a good way for a healthcare professional to quickly revise a topic, not necessarily for an exam but simply as a method to be updated. This book like so many in the handbook series is a pleasure to read and is a gateway to painless learning.
Chapters 36 to 57 cover a multitude of topic areas associated with HIV infection and like the rest of the book provides practical support and advice over a wide range of topics. This book would be an asset to a sexual health clinic or in a primary care setting where it would assist in helping to manage patients. The book is portable and can be quickly consulted and the only criticism I have, is that there is no online or app version bundled with the cost of the book. It is a minor criticism for what is an excellent book for this topic.
Dr Harry Brown