Social and Cultural Responses to Emerging Vector-borne Diseases

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9 Scopus citations


Emerging vector-borne diseases represent a formidable challenge to public health. Part of the challenge lies in the promoting behaviors such as self-protection from tick bites and use of mosquito nets early in the process of disease emergence to limit their impact on health. This paper will review two of the lessons that have been learned in research on HIV prevention, and their applicability to vector control programs. First, programs such as Thailand's 100 Percent Condom Program have demonstrated the importance of implementing structural and environmental interventions to complement approaches that promote behavior change in individuals. Second, experience has shown that HIV and AIDS not only result in discrimination and lack of rights, but also that HIV and AIDS are much more likely to occur in people who are discriminated against or who lack basic human rights. Many vector-borne diseases are also more common among populations lacking basic human rights such as control over their land, political rights and access to water and sanitation. Tools such as geographic information systems and modeling of transmission could play an crucial role in showing us both the geography of human rights and social inequalities, and demonstrating how processes such as climate change interact with human rights to favor disease emergence. Spatial analyses can also indicate where structural and environmental interventions to promote human behavior change might be most effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vector Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998


  • Emerging infectious diseases
  • Environmental interventions
  • Human rights
  • Structural interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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