HIV Interventions: Biomedicine & the Traffic between Information & Flesh

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HIV Interventions: Biomedicine & the Traffic between Information & Flesh (In Vivo) by Marsha Rosengarten
English | 2009 | ISBN: 0295989424, 0295989599 | 148 pages | PDF | 1 MB


Winner of the Sociology of Health & Illness Book Prize

HIV has changed in the presence of recent biomedical technologies. In particular, the development of anti-retroviral therapies (ARVs) for the treatment of HIV was a significant l&mark in the history of the disease. Treatment with ARV drug regimens, which began in 1996, has enabled many thous&s to live with the human immunodeficiency virus without progressing to AIDS. Yet ARVs have also been fraught with problems of regimen compliance, viral resistance, & iatrogenic disease. Besides intensifying the technological & ethical complexities of medicine, the drugs have also affected conceptions of risk & risk practices, in turn presenting new challenges for prevention.

In order to devise safer, more effective forms of treatment, prevention, & possibly cure, Marsha Rosengarten asserts, it is essential to underst& the relationship between HIV, medical technologies, & ideas about the body. HIV is an entity that constitutes & is constituted by complex material & informational environments. Recognition of this two-way traffic between the medical science of HIV & the expression of HIV in individuals & societies provides a novel basis for devising new or supplementary modes of thinking about & intervening in the epidemic.

Through such diverse materials as drug advertisements, pill formulations, scientific articles, clinical trials, diagnostic test results, & viral imaging as well as interviews with those living & working with HIV, Rosengarten provides numerous demonstrations of how the entities comprising the HIV epidemic - bodies, viral resistance, diagnostic results, safe sex - are forged through dynamic relations.

These various phenomena challenge existing prevention models & raise social & ethical concerns about the impact of additional technologies such as HIV pre- & post-exposure prophylaxis & the promise of vaccines & microbicides.

HIV Interventions is relevant to those engaged in questions of the social & ethical dimensions of biomedicine, biotechnology, & genomics. Further, the specific focus of the project offers HIV practitioners - in the sciences & social sciences, in clinical research, clinical practice, social research, policy development & prevention education - new perspectives & analytic tools for intercepting a virus that continues to endure &, most critically, to change in the course of doing so.
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