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P102


STS and post infection disease states: attending to the politics of emerging forms of knowledge-making 
Convenors:
Nora Engel (Maastricht University)
Janneke M.L. Kuiper (KU Leuven)
Ine Van Hoyweghen (KU Leuven)
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Format:
Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This panel invites papers on how post-infection-disease states, amongst which long COVID, provide new insights into our understanding of care and cure, experiences of uncertainty, the politics of recognition and diagnosis, and the co-production of illness concepts and knowledge.

Long Abstract:

COVID-19 has brought post-infection-disease or postacute sequelae (ongoing, relapsing, or new symptoms present long after infection) into the spotlight as something nebulous, insidious, and so far with poor pathophysiological understanding. Long, or post, COVID patients have successfully moved this concept from patient experience to widely accepted disease and even diagnosis, securing attention and resources. Other post-infection-diseases states, such as Post Tuberculosis Lung Disease, are characterized by clearer clinical links between pathology-impairment-disability, but have not been made a priority in healthcare policy, practice or research. Common issues across post-infection-diseases that deserve scrutiny and offer analytical scope for STS include: the prevailing uncertainty for those affected, the politics of recognition and diagnosis, the variable recovery, residual impairment and recurrence that challenge our understanding of cure and care, and the new forms of co-production of illness concepts when much is still unknown.

This panel attends to emerging forms of knowledge-making on post-infection-disease, how they are configured, problematized, measured, cared for and addressed through activism, research, product development, interventions, policymaking, or care provision. We invite papers on and beyond long COVID, working across different post-infection-disease states, including persistent viral, parasitic or antibiotic infections, chronic infections, and recurrent infections. Papers could focus on (but are not limited to):

• Illness experiences, the construction of communities with shared medical identity, and new forms of organized patient advocacy

• The making of clinical boundaries and standards/guidelines of post-infection-disease and potentially contested illnesses in the face of uncertainty and/or ignorance

• Ontological politics and the social epidemiology of post-infection-disease: who are (not) being served and heard? the co-production of other vulnerabilities and inequalities

• Possible transformations of our understanding of short-term infections and cure and the implications for research and practice

• New forms of STS inspired medical action that challenge the normative role of clinical evidence

Accepted papers: