The challenges of technological innovation in HIV

Rosengarten, Marsha; Michael, Mike; Mykhalovskiy, Eric and Imrie, J.. 2008. The challenges of technological innovation in HIV. The Lancet, 372(9636), pp. 357-358. ISSN 0140-6736 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The challenges of transferring biomedical advances and non-biomedical technological innovations in HIV prevention and treatment to the field, are a theme of this year’s XVII International AIDS Conference.
In the HIV field, innovations are often understood in exclusively biomedical or psychosocial terms. Related to these understandings are well-worn disciplinary distinctions. Thus vaccines and drug treatments are typically understood as biotechnological. They are seen as the proper preserve of laboratory studies and clinical trials that are charged with the creation of biotechnologies to protect human bodies from HIV infection or reduce damaging effects when infection has occurred. By contrast, innovations in safer-sex campaigns and other forms of behavioural prevention are generally considered the mainstay of the social sciences. Research from these fields is intended to provide insights into the beliefs and practices that might inform policy and programmes aimed at individual behaviours.
Interdisciplinary collaborations generally involve social-science study of human experiences of and responses to biomedical phenomena. Good examples are the studies of adherence to HIV antiretroviral drug treatments and studies of the effect of antiretrovirals on concepts of risk and risk behaviours. In such studies, the innovation is often taken to be separate from the individuals that participate in it. The goal is to understand how the initiative affects or is experienced by participants.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


HIV, biomedical technologies, innovation, relationality

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Study of Invention and Social Process (CSISP) [2003-2015]


2 August 2008Published

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Date Deposited:

09 Mar 2009 16:55

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:27

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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