In Colombia, dengue has been a target for public health interventions since the 1950s, with inadequate results. Furthermore, during the last few years in Colombia, the reported cases of dengue have increased. The social and cultural realities of the disease has been shown to be important and has not been considered when creating and implementing prevention and control programs. The paper draws on qualitative research of low- and high-income communities in the vicinity of Villaviecencio, South East Colombia to describe changing practices and direction of dengue prevention and control. It can be clearly observed from individuals' therapeutic itineraries and their perception of disease that public policies advertised in booklets and flyers and on television differ radically from people's everyday reality. This difference influences the success or failure of these policies.