The discovery of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in 1995 was effectively a response to the high mortality of AIDS in the global North, where the high cost of industrial pharmaceutical development could be afforded, and where large numbers of researchers could be trained and recruited, even though such prosperity did not provide immunity to the problem of HIV. It was in the end only through international aid that the therapy, although nearly one decade late and only available to those striving for inclusion (Nguyen 2010), could be accessed by HIV-infected individuals in the global South. Africa, home to “thousands of never-before treated patients” (4), was subsequently transformed from a field “too poor and chaotic to benefit from the high-tech antiretroviral medications” (6) to a continent that “is in vogue now” (7). Not only have African patients started on...
Scrambling for Africa: Aids, Expertise, and the Rise of American Global Health Science
Yi-Tsun Chen (陳奕村) is currently a PhD student writing a doctoral dissertation on HIV/AIDS in Taiwan. He is interested in an anthropological and ethnographic methodology that broadens the understanding of health issues. Rejecting and seeking to critically challenge the idea that the development of biomedical science and technology is the most effective paradigm for improving the everyday lives of individuals, he hopes that through narrating personal experiences and linking these to broader cultural, social, and global structures, alternative ways of living can be found to reduce everyday struggles and suffering.
Yi-Tsun Chen; Scrambling for Africa: Aids, Expertise, and the Rise of American Global Health Science. East Asian Science, Technology and Society 1 March 2017; 11 (1): 127–131. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/18752160-3503498
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