Views from Masters in Public Health class on denialists

A Master’s in Public Health (MPH) class on going at ShareWorld Open University evaluated the article titled ‘Denialists’ in March 2012. Views were framed based on sociological aspects discussed below.

First, what are the relevant sociological data in this article?

According to Wikipedia, sociology is the scientific study of society. It is the understanding of the social world by examining it from a social perspective.

Relevant sociological data from the article in health care include: People who reject that HIV exists (denialists) like Christine Maggiore; people who say HIV does not cause Aids (non-believers) and people who acknowledge the existence of Aids, but as a disease attributed to drugs, sexual behaviour and poor sanitation witchcraft (skeptics).

Sociological data described in the article also include claims by denialists refuting that Aids in South Africa during 2000-2005 is responsible for 340 000 Aids deaths and 171 000 other HIV infections and 35 000 infant HIV infections.

Second, what is the sociological understanding of the article?

This kind of understanding can be summarised in three levels: In our society, we have denialists, non-believers and sceptics; Denialists, non-believers and skeptics are limiting HIV prevention efforts; Impact of this denialism, non-believers and sceptics is an increase in HIV prevalence due to a low uptake of ARVs e.g. RSA—341 000 (2000 – 2005).

Third, discuss the sociological idea this article shares. Sociology is about social issues. A sociological understanding differs from that provided by other social sciences such as psychology, politics, economics and history. Sociology is more concerned with the nature and variety of human relationship and interaction of an issue.

In this article, Muza Gondwe 2012 used scientific rational in discussing the social article: The concept is described by Gun-C. Wright Mills, 1970, who said public issues transcend the experiences of one individual. Therefore, in this article the problem of denialists is they have a serious negative impact on HIV and Aids mitigation efforts.

In this article, several sociological questions were posed. For example, does denial have an effect on ARV uptake? Does denial negatively influence HIV transmission? Literature reviews on Aids denialism in RSA during 2000 – 2005 was used to answer these questions.

However, the solution to the problem remains in the hands of the public. The question, therefore, is posed to the concerned group or whole society e.g. “So, denialists, what do you have to say to that?”

Share This Post