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AIDS in the UK: The Making of Policy, 1981-1994 (Paperback)
  • AIDS in the UK: The Making of Policy, 1981-1994 (Paperback)
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AIDS in the UK: The Making of Policy, 1981-1994 (Paperback)

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£43.49
Paperback 404 Pages / Published: 28/03/1996
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Fifteen years ago the AIDS `epidemic' did not exist on the public agenda. In just over a decade the public and official response to the disease has resulted in the development of a whole network of organizations devoted to the study, containment, and practical treatment of AIDS. In this important and original analysis of AIDS policy, Virginia Berridge examines the speed and nature of the official (and unofficial) response to this new and critical historical event. The policy reaction in Britain passed through three stages. From 1981-1986 the outbreak of a new contagious disease led to public alarm and social stigmatization, with a lack of scientific certainty about the nature of the disorder. AIDS was a new and open policy area - there were no established departmental, local, or health authority mechanisms for dealing with the problem. This was a period of policy development from below, with relatively little official action and many voluntary initiatives behind the scenes. This phase was succeeded in 1986-1987 by a brief stage of quasi-wartime emergency, in which national politicians and senior civil servants intervened, and a high-level political response emerged. The response was a liberal one of `safe sex' and harm minimization rather than draconian notification or isolation of carriers. The author demonstrates that despite the `Thatcher revolution'in government in the 1980s, crisis could still stimulate a consensual response. The current period of `normalization' of the disease sees panic levels subsiding as the rate of growth slows and the fear of the unknown recedes. Official institutions have been established and formal procedures adopted and reviewed; paid professionals have replaced the earlier volunteers. The 1990s have seen change in the liberal consensus towards a harsher response and the partial repoliticization of AIDS. In this fascinating and scholarly account, Virginia Berridge analyses a remarkable period in contemporary British history, and exposes the reaction of the British political and medical elites, and of the British public to one of the most challenging issues of this century.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198204732
Number of pages: 404
Weight: 550 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
serves as a model of how contemporary history should be professionally addressed ... it has successfully accumulated evidence from a wide range of sources and respondents in order to recreate the confusion, jealousies, excitement and anxieties of those involved in formulating and implementing AIDS policy ... the book triumphantly reaffirms the relevance of social history to current policy. * Rodney Lowe, Social History Bulletin *
Berridge's skill as a historian has never been shown to better advantage. She steers her way through a mass of diffuse material with the skill of a tightrope walker, always keeping her balance. The result is a work of considerable scholarship which manages to be as riveting as a thriller. A considerable achievement * Irvine Loudon, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine *
Her book is coolly written, impressively (but not, as it could so easily be, overwhelmingly) detailed and judicious throughout. She weaves together the strands of science, medicine, policy and culture in a richly worked account of the AIDs years in Britain which will interest anyone who wants ot reflect on the AIDS experience * Times Higher Education Supplement *
Virginia Berridge has done an excellent job...AIDS in the UK can be highly recommended not only to all those in Britain who have been concerned with AIDS in the past 15 years but also to everyone who is interested in reading how the United Kingdom has handled the AIDS epidemic until now. * British Medical Journal *
a wide range of sources - including interviews with activists, acaemics, doctors and senior government officials - means that it casts light on a range of issues thrown up by the Aids crisis ... An admirably judicious study ... This is an important and valuable book. * Jeffrey Weeks, New Statesman & Society *

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