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Open Access Open Badges Debate

HIV/AIDS, chronic diseases and globalisation

Christopher J Colvin

Author Affiliations

Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research (CIDER), Falmouth 5.49, UCT Med School Campus, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925, South Africa

Globalization and Health 2011, 7:31  doi:10.1186/1744-8603-7-31

Published: 26 August 2011


HIV/AIDS has always been one of the most thoroughly global of diseases. In the era of widely available anti-retroviral therapy (ART), it is also commonly recognised as a chronic disease that can be successfully managed on a long-term basis. This article examines the chronic character of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and highlights some of the changes we might expect to see at the global level as HIV is increasingly normalised as "just another chronic disease". The article also addresses the use of this language of chronicity to interpret the HIV/AIDS pandemic and calls into question some of the consequences of an uncritical acceptance of concepts of chronicity.