In the Same Vein: The Hepatitis B Vaccine and America’s Dirty Blood

Speaker: Lochlain Jain # Kings College London, Stanford University

30th Sep 2019

15:00 - 17:00

Violet Laidlaw Room, 6th Floor, CMB

The talk will track two parallel stories. First, the practices of industrial blood extraction and trade that led to exploding rates of hepatitis B circulation will be contextualized in light of the enabling legal, medical, and regulatory conditions. Second, the development of the hepatitis B vaccine will be explored focusing in particular on the trials of the 1970s. I analyse how varied and shifting rhetorics of class, sexuality, and criminality played out in the medical and social understandings of hepatitis B in ways that consistently downplayed its seriousness, and set the path for how an emerging HIV was articulated as disease in the early 1980s. 

The event is co-hosted with the Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology

Lochlain Jain is a Medical Anthropologist at Standford University and King's College London: