Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
BASTOS, Francisco Inácio. "Get back to where you once belonged": monitoring the AIDS pandemic in the 21st century. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2008, vol.13, n.6, pp.1719-1727. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232008000600007.
This paper reviews the concepts and methodological strategies that have shaped the monitoring of the AIDS pandemic, today in its third decade. A deliberate effort was made to highlight aspects usually forgotten by the canon. The paper aims to track the footsteps of the evolving strategies in the field of surveillance & monitoring, with the help of disciplines such as epidemiology, molecular biology, social, and behavioral sciences. The deep divide that opposes societies severely affected by the epidemic and affluent societies much less affected by the epidemic is contrasted with the scarce human and financial resources of the societies facing harshest epidemic vis-à-vis the comprehensiveness of the response to the epidemic in their affluent counterparts in terms of the scope and high standards of their initiatives on monitoring, prevention, management & care. The pressing need to implement feasible alternatives to the current sophisticated and expensive ones is briefly discussed. Beyond the renewed challenge posed to the creativity of scientists and health professionals, the AIDS pandemic is described as a major public health crisis, compromising the social fabric in some contexts, and as a never fulfilled calling for an ethics of solidarity between different societies and different social strata of each given society.
Keywords : Aids; Monitoring and evaluation; History of science.