Journal of Medical Humanities 41 (2):153-169 (2020)

While foregrounding the historiography of HIV and AIDS in the South African context, this article analyses AIDS as simultaneously existing in three spheres: first, virtually – as the subject matter of electronically measurable research; second, academically – as a topic of research in the discipline of History; and third, actually – as a complex health concern and signifier that, via the field of Medical and Health Humanities, could allow for new collaborations between historians and others interested in understanding AIDS. Throughout, the central focus is the discipline of History and the global trends that become evident when examining metrics about AIDS research, particularly those that show the hierarchies of knowledge ‘production’, the reinforcement of disciplinary boundaries, and the discrepancy between the amount of research ‘produced’ by scientific and humanities disciplines. Overall, the article suggests that ‘post-AIDS’ is not currently helpful to health historians working on South African and other majority world contexts. More specifically, the article reflects on what AIDS histories still need to be written, and I argue that Medical and Health Humanities could provide a space for historians to work within and across disciplinary boundaries given the ever evolving remit of AIDS histories, temporalities, and narratives.
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DOI 10.1007/s10912-017-9440-x
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