Methods and meanings in anthropological, epidemiological and clinical encounters: the case of sexually transmitted disease and human immunodeficiency virus control and prevention in India

Trop Med Int Health. 1998 Dec;3(12):1002-10. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3156.1998.00336.x.


Rapid assessment procedures informed by anthropology are increasingly commonly being utilised in the formulation of a range of international disease control and prevention strategies. Refinement of these rapid procedures has narrowly focused on their methods, in contrast with the broader potential scope of context-based anthropological contributions. The control of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in India is used to illustrate the potential role of anthropologically informed insights and investigations in the development of effective interventions, with particular reference to the examples of syndromic management, symptom presentation and treatment provision. The paper argues for anthropological epidemiological and clinical studies to be properly integrated in order to fulfil their substantial potential for interdisciplinary illumination.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthropology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*