Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Today, I received official notification that Social Science & Medicine will publish a paper entitled, "Animal-human connections, 'one health,' and the syndemic approach to prevention."

In this paper, my co-authors (Bonnie Buntain, Jennifer Hatfield, and Benedikt Hallgrímsson) and I expand on the conceptualization of syndemics to take into account interactions between health problems in animal and human populations.

We suggest the following definition:
two or more afflictions that interact synergistically within the context of specific physical and social environments, especially as a result of inequality within and between human populations, to produce excess disease burdens in a human population, an animal population, or multiple such populations.

One example is HIV/AIDS in conjunction with so-called bovine tuberculosis, which afflicts people and many other warm-blooded animals besides cows. Another is domestic or interpersonal violence, which often implicates a victim's pet.

And we argue for changes to educational and research funding policies...

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