Download PDF by Alex Preda: Aids, Rhetoric, And Medical Knowledge

Download PDF by Alex Preda: Aids, Rhetoric, And Medical Knowledge

By Alex Preda

Interpreting the formation of medical wisdom concerning the AIDS epidemic within the Eighties, Alex Preda highlights the metaphors, narratives, and classifications which framed clinical hypotheses concerning the nature of the infectious agent and its transmission. Preda compares those arguments with these utilized in the clinical research of SARS. He demonstrates how clinical wisdom approximately epidemics is formed through cultural narratives and different types of social notion via an in depth evaluation of biomedical courses.

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Example text

5 (3) A third phase in the definition of risk started in the early 1990s: its core feature is the emphasis on the Third World and on institutional aspects of risk. These aspects consist mainly of the professional or occupational risk of medical personnel, the risk of the patient of becoming infected during interaction with medical personnel, as well as the intrinsic institutional risk posed by blood banks. Some of these topics were already present in the biomedical discourse in the mid1980s (such as the risk of medical personnel becoming infected during 4 5 It was named human T-lymphotropic virus III, lymphadenopathy-associated virus, or both, until 1988 (Rawling 1994).

This state of knowledge determined which concept of risk was adopted. Consequently, the status of “AIDS risk” is relativized with respect to the advancement of medical knowledge Introduction 25 about the nature of the infectious agent, its effects, and its means of transmission. What strikes the reader of medical journals is that the syndrome, in spite of being signaled and discussed in the medical press against a background of longstanding, well established medical knowledge, was reported as being completely new, mysterious, and highly problematic.

Rhetorical practices cannot be absolutely identical, because: (1) They are collocated with their products, so we can recover only the rhetorical practice of a certain discourse, not the rhetorical practice. (2) When (re)producing, rhetorical practices change shape. They are thus not really like machines (which one expects to function approximately in the same way 22 AIDS, Rhetoric, and Medical Knowledge regardless of conditions), but rather like viruses. They are dead outside the discourses they inhabit.

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