HIV/AIDS: The Once and Future Epidemic

Richard P. Keeling, MD -Keeling & Associates, Inc.

About the Author

July 2003


Students, as future leaders, health care workers, money managers, decision- makers, traders, determiners of foreign policy, citizens, patients, and voters, need a broad but nuanced understanding of HIV/AIDS as a problem in science and society. Thinking of HIV/AIDS as a scientific, or medical, issue absent its infusion with social and cultural shades and tones is dangerous and inhumane; addressing its social and cultural implications without attending to the scientific, clinical, and epidemiological facts is a barren process.

In the matter of HIV/AIDS, the world can afford neither unsubtle science nor uninformed social action. Avoiding both is both the opportunity and the challenge of higher education.

From the paper's conclusion

Topics of Interest to the SENCER Community

AIDS as a topic used to engage students in understanding the intersection of biology, public health, economics, public policy, social conditions, economics, cross-cultural studies and international relations

- "Othering" of AIDS in the face of relatively low contraction rates among indivuduals who do not belong to high-risk groups or engage in behaviors that increase their risk (intravenous drug use).

- Globalization calls for U.S. intervention in international HIV/AIDS programs as a matter of "enlightened self-interest".

Brief summary of facts about how the HIV virus develops, replicates, and is transmitted.

- Development and transmission methods.

- Changing face of demographics of the disease.

Suggestions for incorporating classroom use of HIV/AIDS issues with scientific principles.

- Lists of questions related to current science & social policies deployed in addressing the current reality of AIDS.

- Proposed knowledge sets that will be required in the future for continuing research related to scientific and social solutions to the problem of HIV/AIDS.

Full Report 'HIV/AIDS: The Once and Future Epidemic

Related Resources

-Model Course:
Biomedical Issues of HIV/AIDS

- SENCER Backgrounder:
HIV/AIDS and Education in Africa