Inventing AIDS

Cindy Patton, Author Routledge $0 (176p) ISBN 978-0-415-90256-4
Although the impetus behind these six essays came from ``very personal confrontations with self-doubt and loss of faith''p. 1 as the author's friends succumbed to AIDS, this intensity is all but lost to the text's academic examination of our society's responses to this epidemic. Patton describes how the AIDS service industry (organizations providing medical care and counseling to people with AIDS) has deserted its radical self-help origins to adopt the structure--and drawbacks--characteristic of mainstream institutions. She challenges the notion that a correlation exists between HIV testing and safe sex behavior, and maintains that practice of safe sex should be the standard, not simply an expression of suspicion. Arguing that AIDS education cannot be politically neutral, she claims that it is not just a matter of conveying facts but of challenging people's prejudices. On scientific research and policy, Patton ( Sex and Germs ) asserts that racism and remnants of colonial attitudes have led scientists to conduct experiments on people in Africa that would be considered unacceptably dangerous in their own countries. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-0-415-90257-1
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