091109 The fields of HIV and disability: past, present and future

The fields of HIV and disability: past, present and future

Journal of the International AIDS Society 2009, 12:28

This article provides an historic overview of the fields of disability and HIV. We describe this area
of concern in terms of "fields" versus "a single field" because of the two related but distinct trends
that have evolved over time. The first field involves people living with HIV and their experiences of
disability, disablement and rehabilitation brought on by the disease and its treatments. The second
involves people with disabilities and their experiences of vulnerability to and life with HIV. These
two fields have evolved relatively independently over time. However, in the final section of this
article, we argue that the divide between these fields is collapsing, and that this collapse is beginning
to produce a new understanding about shared concerns, cross-field learning and the mutual
benefits that might be realized from integrating policy and programmatic responses. We close by
identifying directions that we expect these merging fields to take in the coming years.