Health

It has been an interesting month to read David France’s magisterial history of the AIDS crisis in the United States. As I sat down to the write this review, The Guardian reported that a Georgia state politician, Betty Price, had raised the possibility of isolating HIV positive individuals. ‘I don’t want to say the quarantine word ...

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This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of arguably the biggest single breakthrough in our knowledge of how immunity works. After years of uncertainty, it turned out that the immune system contains two major functional classes of white blood cells. One class recognises foreign organisms, such as invading bacteria or transplanted tissue from an incompatible organ do ...

In her long-form essay Dear Life, columnist and fiction writer Karen Hitchcock considers how we in Australia treat the elderly and dying. To the task she brings her formidable skills as a writer and her experience at the coalface, working as a staff physician in a Melbourne public hospital. The result is a sensitive, rigorous, and moving account that ex ...

In 2004 Carla Reed, a thirty-year-old kindergarten teacher, began to experience a cluster of mysterious symptoms. Bruises appeared and vanished ‘like stigmata’, and a numb headache and sudden exhaustion suggested that something was ‘terribly wrong’. Her pains were ghostly and mobile. When her doctors suggested migraines and prescribed aspirin, she demanded blood tests. She received a call to come back for more tests, and still recalls the urgency in the nurse’s voice. ‘Come now,’ Reed remembers her saying. ‘Come now.’

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I am a doctor. Once I was a doctor of individuals, now I am a ‘doctor of populations’. Population health is about actions to improve the health of communities, nations, and the world. Challenges are many: the mobility and density of populations, contemporary desires and pressures, the safety of food in complex systems, poverty, the immense power of big businesse ...