Contesting AIDS/HIV: the lay reception of biomedical knowledge

Corbett, Kevin (2003) Contesting AIDS/HIV: the lay reception of biomedical knowledge. In: BSA Annual Medical Sociology Group Conference, 26th-28th September 2003, University of York, England, U.K.. . [Conference or Workshop Item]

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This paper analyses the diversity of lay responses to the medical screening and testing technologies used in HIV and AIDS (Corbett 2002). These technologies (namely, HIV antibody-tests, T cell counts and Viral Load tests) are used in the clinical surveillance and monitoring of the health of diagnosed people. The paper develops a conceptual framework from within the sociology of scientific knowledge using the work of Bijker and Foucault. It is argued that HIV/AIDS screening and testing technologies embody degrees of certainty over diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. It is further argued that lay theorising and global activism over such technological indeterminacies has helped to foster diverse meanings for these health technologies. The paper draws on a discourse analysis of interview data drawn from a U.K. sample of diagnosed people. This analysis showed a spectrum of articulated affinity with various propositions and presuppositions about the nature of HIV/AIDS and the associated screening and testing technologies. The paper analyses how individuals actively engage with various technological frames when speaking, thinking and acting in relation to HIV, AIDS and their response to the results of HIV technologies. The paper argues that the latter response to these health technologies constitutes a lay epistemology of HIV and AIDS characterised by uncertainty and resistance underpinning a continuum of responses (‘response-styles’) for living with a diagnosis of HIV and AIDS.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education
Item ID: 17741
Depositing User: Kevin Corbett
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2015 10:55
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 18:37

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