By Alex Preda
Reading the formation of clinical wisdom in regards to the AIDS epidemic within the Nineteen Eighties, Alex Preda highlights the metaphors, narratives, and classifications which framed medical hypotheses in regards to the nature of the infectious agent and its transmission. Preda compares those arguments with these utilized in the clinical research of SARS. He demonstrates how medical wisdom approximately epidemics is formed via cultural narratives and different types of social notion via an in depth assessment of biomedical guides.
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Additional resources for Aids Rhetoric and Medical Knowledge
There had been research on retroviruses since the beginning of the 1970s, and on human retroviruses since the mid1970s. Still, it took more than two years to identify the infectious agent of AIDS as a human retrovirus. This process was related to a conﬂict in the medical world and later led to a political agreement between the presidents of France and the US about which researcher identiﬁed what retrovirus (Rawling 1994, p. 343; Grmek 1990). Furthermore, AZT (azidothymidine), one of the main drugs used in AIDS therapy, had been developed in the mid-1960s and had therefore been known for a long time (Arno and Feiden 1993, p.
As this study is mainly concerned with the role played by the rhetoric of risk in the medical construction of the syndrome, topics such as institutional or occupational risk are not followed here in detail. 24 AIDS, Rhetoric, and Medical Knowledge interaction with patients) but rose to prominence at the beginning of the 1990s. Historians usually distinguish neatly between these phases (Oppenheimer 1988, pp. 280–1, 1992) and evaluate the passage from a group- to a behavior-oriented deﬁnition of risk (or, as they put it, from “lifestyle” to a “transmissible agent”) positively, in view of the diminished social stigma effects.
Historians usually distinguish neatly between these phases (Oppenheimer 1988, pp. 280–1, 1992) and evaluate the passage from a group- to a behavior-oriented deﬁnition of risk (or, as they put it, from “lifestyle” to a “transmissible agent”) positively, in view of the diminished social stigma effects. This passage had a positive effect on the political discourse and on health policy, directly inﬂuencing the adoption of more realistic and efﬁcient prevention measures. It is thus argued that a behavior-oriented concept of risk does not lead to the stigmatization of social groups or lifestyles and that it enables a more direct and person-centered prevention approach, as well as better epidemiological estimates.
Aids Rhetoric and Medical Knowledge by Alex Preda