Influence of mega-social issues on HIV pandemic
By National Development & Research Institutes
Apr 11, 2006, 12:43

In an Editorial Review published in the current issue of AIDS (2006,20,7, 1-5), HIV researchers from Argentina, Australia, South Africa, and the United States address the challenging question of the impact of major social, ecological, political, economic, biomedical, viral, and other changes on the HIV epidemic and the world's ability to respond. Even as great progress has been made in addressing this infectious disease, global developments, if not researched and planned for, could easily derail or destroy the progress made.

Samuel R. Friedman, a researcher at the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI) in the United States, and his colleagues from across the globe identify the important social research issues related to the global HIV epidemic with the hope that funders, public and private organizations, individual researchers, and the general public can assemble the knowledge necessary before developments overwhelm our ability to respond. Massive disruption of existing social and risk networks and patterns could easily facilitate or impede HIV transmission. The authors discuss global warming, wars, ecological or economic disruptions, governmental policies, emerging biomedical interventions, viral evolution, and social disorganization as examples of the type of large scale changes that must be studied.

"While not as scientifically straightforward as typical HIV investigations, we ignore these issues at our future peril," noted Dr. Friedman. "Cross disciplinary and multidisciplinary studies are essential in these studies," he added.

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