Journal article

"Typhoid Mary" and "HIV Jane": responsibility, agency and disease prevention.

Kit Yee Chan, Daniel D Reidpath

Reprod Health Matters | Published : 2003


The construction of disease risks as knowable, calculable and preventable in dominant social science and public health discourses has fostered a certain kind of logic about individual risk and the responsibility for infection. Disease control measures that have developed out of this logic typically fail to recognise the socio-structural roots of many high-risk behaviours that are linked to the spread of infection. Instead, they hold the disease carrier responsible for managing his/her own risk of infection of others, and rely on constraining the agency of the carrier (e.g. by constraining movement, contact or occupation). In occupations associated with a high risk of infection, the idea of r..

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