The politics of government response to health epidemics is a new area of scholarly research. Nevertheless, to date scholars have not considered how social science theory can be used and interdependently linked to provide a more thorough discussion of civil societal and national government response to different types of health epidemics. Introducing what I call an interdependent analytic framework of government response to epidemics, this article illustrates how social science theories can be interdependently linked and applied to help explain the evolutionary role of interest groups and social movements in response to AIDS and tuberculosis in Brazil, and when and why the government eventually responded more aggressively to AIDS but not tuberculosis. Evidence from Brazil suggests that the policy influence of interest groups and social movements evolves over time and is more influential after the national government implements new policies; moreover, this response is triggered by the rise of international pressures and government reputation building, not civil society. I highlight new areas of research that the framework provides and provide examples of how this approach can help explain civil societal and biased government responses to different types of epidemics in other nations.

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