The changing tastes in disease

Why is it that some diseases like Aids and Sars capture the public's attention while other serious illnesses remain stubbornly under the radar?
This is the question being addressed in a ground-breaking new research project at Northumbria University.  Dr Clark Lawlor and his team plan to find out why some medical conditions  have become fashionable and even viewed as 'attractive' in the past. They hope this could give an insight to today's policymakers as well as help affected patients.

Dr Lawlor: 'From consumption and gout in the 18th century to 'thinspiration' websites praising anorexia and SARS or Swine Flu more recently, diseases come and go – sometimes with alarming rapidity. This project will address a cultural and medical phenomenon that is still little understood, particularly in its historical dimensions. No major project has yet answered the question of how fashionable diseases come to be formed, maintained and removed from history.'

Source  - Daily Mail