Social Science Aspects of Contemporary HIV/AIDS Research

By Klein, Hugh; Merrick, Joav | International Public Health Journal, October 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Social Science Aspects of Contemporary HIV/AIDS Research


Klein, Hugh, Merrick, Joav, International Public Health Journal


Introduction

Looking back over the course of the three-plus decades of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, scholars and researchers have made many significant strides in understanding and responding to HIV and AIDS. From the inception of the HIV/AIDS epidemic during the early 1980s until the mid-1990s, when highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) was introduced as an innovative and highly-effective way of controlling HIV and HIV-related diseases, the "average" person diagnosed as being HIV-positive could expect to live for several months and if lucky, for a few years. Today, with the medical advances that have been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, people who have contracted HIV usually can expect to live relatively healthy lives, in most instances for many years without experiencing any serious complications of HIV disease.

HAART has been so successful that it has resulted in a 94% reduction in excess mortality (1), giving people who have been infected with HIV a significantly longer life and a greatly-lengthened period of healthy living post-infection. Research on the exact extent to which HAART adherence reduces the likelihood of sexual transmission of HIV has suggested that the risk of HIV transmission drops by 60-80% when the HIV-infected person adheres to his/her medical regimens and has been taking HAART medications for at least six months (2,3). Over the course of the three-plus decades of its existence, HIV/AIDS has transitioned from being a short-term death sentence to a long-term manageable condition. In no small part, this transition can be credited to medical and pharmaceutical research advances, which have made strides that, in many ways, are almost miraculous in their scope.

Social science efforts

Simultaneously, while the medical and pharmaceutical researchers were exploring ways to treat HIV-related illnesses and to delay the onset of HIV-related diseases in HIV-infected persons, social science researchers were working to curtail the HIV/AIDS epidemic in other ways. Their efforts focused on different types of research questions, including, among many others, such ponderances as these:

· Are all population groups equally at risk for acquiring and/or transmitting HIV? If not, why not?

· Among populations that seem to have a greater risk for acquiring and/or transmitting HIV, what are the factors that lead to their heightened risk?

o Are these factors psychological or psychosocial in nature, perhaps resulting from having lower selfesteem, greater depression, greater impulsivity, lower perceived selfefficacy, and so forth?

o Are these factors normative in nature, resulting from societal and/or subcultural expectations pertaining to gender roles, racial/ethnic identities, expressions of sexual identity and sexual orientation, manifestations of masculinity norms, and the like?

o Are these factors sociocultural in nature, resulting from differences in access to accurate information about HIV transmission based on one's age, gender, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, socioeconomic status, etc?

o Are these factors socio-structural in nature, resulting from circumstances affecting people's everyday lives and the decisions that they make? This might include romantic partnership or relationship dynamics, previous experiences with childhood trauma, economic necessities that affect how people live their lives, or neighborhood influences on receiving/accepting help from community "outsiders."

· How do various factors co-occur to make the likelihood of HIV acquisition or transmission even greater among some persons-for example, among substance-abusing men who have sex with other men, or among persons who simultaneously are unhappy with their current life circumstances and who see no brighter prospects for their future, or among persons who suffer from the lingering effects of previous abuse and/or neglect and who, as adults, now find themselves involved in a dysfunctional relationship? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Social Science Aspects of Contemporary HIV/AIDS Research
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.