December 18, 1992 at 05:00 AM EST

Brian Weil’s documentation of AIDS — which now infects a new person every 17 seconds, averaged globally — is at once audacious and modest. Audacious because Weil seeks to do justice to the diverse personal and political circumstances of the disease, modest because Weil does not pretend to have a corner on human suffering. The haunting black-and-white photographs in Every 17 Seconds: A Global Perspective on the Aids Crisis range in subject from an afflicted mother in New York to two drug users sharing a needle in Chicago, and from Bangkok sex bars to an HIV-positive gold-miner in Johannesburg. A

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