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AIDS: The Making of a Chronic Disease
     

AIDS: The Making of a Chronic Disease

by Elizabeth Fee (Editor), Daniel M. Fox (Editor)
 

When AIDS was first recognized in 1981, most experts believed that it was a plague, a virulent unexpected disease. They thought AIDS, as a plague, would resemble the great epidemics of the past: it would be devastating but would soon subside, perhaps never to return. By the middle 1980s, however, it became increasingly clear that AIDS was a chronic infection,

Overview

When AIDS was first recognized in 1981, most experts believed that it was a plague, a virulent unexpected disease. They thought AIDS, as a plague, would resemble the great epidemics of the past: it would be devastating but would soon subside, perhaps never to return. By the middle 1980s, however, it became increasingly clear that AIDS was a chronic infection, not a classic plague.


In this follow-up to AIDS: The Burdens of History, editors Elizabeth Fee and Daniel M. Fox present essays that describe how AIDS has come to be regarded as a chronic disease. Representing diverse fields and professions, the twenty-three contributors to this work use historical methods to analyze politics and public policy, human rights issues, and the changing populations with HIV infection. They examine the federal government's testing of drugs for cancer and HIV, and show how the policy makers' choice of a specific historical model (chronic disease versus plague) affected their decisions. A powerful photo essay reveals the strengths of women from various backgrounds and lifestyles who are coping with HIV. A sensitive account of the complex relationships of the gay community to AIDS is included. Finally, several contributors provide a sampling of international perspectives on the impact of AIDS in other nations.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a companion to their AIDS: The Burdens of History the editors have assembled a variety of perspectives on AIDS, including scientific and public representations of the disease, aspects of government policy and examinations of groups directly affected by the syndrome. One underlying notion is the change in outlook articulated by Fox--AIDS is now viewed more like a chronic disease (which is ``managed'' over the long term) than a plague (which is ``fought'' and cured). Timothy E. Cook and David C. Colby maintain that television news stories influenced public response to ``the first `living-room epidemic.' '' Randall M. Packard and Paul Epstein demonstrate that some initial studies of AIDS epidemiology in Africa, like earlier ones of syphilis and tuberculosis, were swayed by researchers' acceptance of stereotypes of African culture and sexuality. Finding ``biological antecedents and parallels'' for AIDS, Stephen S. Morse says that people must recognize the part they have in shaping their biological milieu and in influencing the path of ``viral traffic.'' This collection will be valuable to those studying social and political aspects of the disease. Photos not seen by PW . (Feb.)
Library Journal
This follow-up to AIDS: The Burdens of History (Univ. of California Pr., 1988) includes contributions by 23 representatives of diverse fields and professions who use historiography to demonstrate a change in the perception of AIDS from a classic plague to a chronic infection. The 15 scholarly essays are arranged into four sections: scientific and public efforts to present and represent HIV and AIDS; political, legal, and ethical aspects of contemporary AIDS policies; affected populations (gay men and IV drug users); and perspectives on the social and scientific construction of AIDS in the United Kingdom, Japan, Africa, and the Third World. For larger public and academic medical collections.-- James E. Van Buskirk, San Francisco P.L.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520075696
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
12/02/1991
Pages:
417
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Fee is Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at the School of Public Health at The Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. Daniel M. Fox is President of the Milbank Memorial Fund and Professor of Social Sciences in Medicine at the State University of New York, Stonybrook.

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