42. Knowledge of HIV/AIDS in STS: Archives, Science, and Participation

Marika Cifor, University of Washington, Information School; David Ribes, University of Washington, Human Centered Design& Engineering;

This open panel seeks presentations that synthesize across the social, historical and sociotechnical studies of HIV/AIDS throughout the past 40+ years in North America and the world. We particularly welcome investigations that focus on one or more of the following: (1) the archives that undergird our memory and memory-making practices; (2) scientific and biomedical investigations, their contributions, failures and controversies; and (3) community participation, such as activism and community advocacy. STS scholarship on HIV/AIDS has distinct phases. Prior to 1996, before effective HIV treatments became available, it was marked by widespread social inquiry. With the advent of antiretroviral treatments, public attention waned and scholarly fragmentation occurred. The mistaken underlying rationale was that this pandemic was over (or at least well-managed). Biomedical innovation, inflected by activist engagement, did result in treatments that can enable people living with HIV to live near a full lifespan. However, antiretroviral therapies come with side effects, require resources and stability to remain in care, and are dependent on the pharmaceutical industry and strained health systems. HIV has become a long pandemic – one that is both exceptional and intersects with ongoing human rights, socioeconomic, and public health crises. We seek submissions that take a long view, bridging historical STS work with contemporary trajectories in the field, including about the nature of expertise, knowledge production, archives, and activist and community participation in technoscience. Beyond this panel, the organizers aim to foster long-term intellectual community formation around synthetic understandings of long-pandemic of HIV/AIDS.

Contact: mcifor@uw.edu, dribes@uw.edu

Keywords: Social Movements and STS, Forms and Practices of Expertise, Medicine and Healthcare, Histories of science; Queer STS; Feminist STS; Pandemic; Archive; Information technology

Published: 04/07/2023