Evidencing viral elimination futures: modelling, targets and the end of Hep C
- this paper, we consider the knowledge-making practices of modelling projections and target setting as devices for knowing hepatitis C and its elimination potential. We trace the significant role of mathematical modelling in the emergence of hepatitis C elimination science to reflect critically on how this science ‘works’ and the material effects it affords. We likewise trace the effects of global disease elimination targets in how they constitute hepatitis C. Informed by science and technology studies, and drawing on the sociology of expectations, we treat mathematical modelling and target setting as discursive-material practices which make-up futures with effects on the present. Viral elimination targets and futures enact the present in relation to interventions, actions and affects infused by claims of biomedical promise linked to the “end of hepatitis C”. There is a recursive relationship generated between modelling and viral elimination targets, where modelled targets make-up elimination potentials and practices, both locally and globally. To make this analysis we draw on discursive analysis of selected cases of mathematical modelling of hepatitis C elimination among people who inject drugs and global hepatitis C elimination strategy. Our analysis is one of the first to reflect critically on the emergence of elimination science in the field of hepatitis C and how this science performs a future.
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