chapter  2
13 Pages

The Changing Context of Health Care in the UK: Implications for HIV/AIDS Services

WithNeil Small

There are numerous, and often competing, histories of AIDS (Berridge and Strong, 1993). These histories include the medical and the scientific, the political and public histories of the epidemic, and those private histories of people affected by HIV-related illness. My concern in this chapter is with the recent history of the public policy response to HIV/AIDS. Public policy exists on two fundamental levels — at the level of assertion and at the level of action. There is a framework of legislation and regulation within which public policy in relation to HIV/AIDS exists, but within that framework there is room for manoeuvre. How this is interpreted can have far reaching effects on the overall experience of service providers, service users and on the public perception of the urgency, even the reality, of the epidemic.