Bio 118

AIDS and Other Health Crises

Course Description

This course is designed for non-science concentrators with little or no background in the sciences. The course focuses on the concepts of health and disease and their impact on society. It also focuses on the impacts of the structures and attitudes of society on health and disease. We will examine a number of health crises, especially AIDS,from the multiple viewpoints of science, medicine, public health, law, social prejudices, mass media, high culture, and the historical effects of health and disease. Specific topics will include discussions of Ebola, Syphilis from 1880 to the present, and the tragic story of Mary Mallon (“Typhoid Mary”) as well as some discussion of cholera, tuberculosis, influenza, smallpox, and the black death. About half the course will be devoted to AIDS. The course consists of two 90-minute lectures per week and some outside readings. Grades are based on four in-class exams and an optional final exam.