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Problematising the discourse of 'Post-AIDS'

Walker, Liz

Authors

Professor Liz Walker E.Walker@hull.ac.uk
Professor of Social Work/ Chair Ethics Committee Faculty of Health Sciences

Abstract

This paper reflects on the meanings of ‘post-AIDS’ in the Global North and Global South. I bring together a range of contemporary arguments to suggest that the notion of ‘post-AIDS’ is, at best, misplaced, not least because its starting point remains a biotechnical one. Drawing on aspects of the sub-Saharan African experience, this essay suggests that, despite significant shifts in access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV continues to be fundamentally shaped by economic determinants and social and cultural practices. In this essay, I question the certainty of the discourse of (Western biomedical) ‘positive progress’ (Johnson et al. 2015), which underpins the ‘post-AIDS’ narrative, and suggest that living with HIV and AIDS in our contemporary global context is a life lived with ongoing complexity, stigma and chronicity. I suggest that HIV in the Global North shares many characteristics with HIV in the Global South, yet differs in significant ways, not least in the fact that a resource-rich context generates an environment where health and social care support is possible, and, mostly, usual. In both contexts, however, the experience of living with a highly stigmatized illness with no cure in both the Global South and North suggests that this is a point of shared experience.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Journal of medical humanities
Print ISSN 1041-3545
Electronic ISSN 1573-3645
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Institution Citation Walker, L. (in press). Problematising the discourse of 'Post-AIDS'. Journal of Medical Humanities, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10912-017-9433-9
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10912-017-9433-9
Keywords Post-AIDS; Normalization; Stigmatization; Chronicity; Global North/South
Publisher URL http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10912-017-9433-9
Copyright Statement © The Author(s) 2017
Open Access
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: Journal of medical humanities, 2017.

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Copyright Statement
© The Author(s) 2017
Open Access
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.




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