Sexuality Policy Watch

AIDS politics: Institutionalization of Solidarity, Exclusion of Context

global_aidsThis timely book, authored by Hakan Seckinelgin (London School of Economics and Political Science), looks critically at the policy response to AIDS and its institutionalization over time. It raises important questions about who benefits, who decides, and in whose interests decisions are made. Taking the early international response to the epidemic as its starting point, and focusing on the work of agencies such as UNAIDS, it identifies two logics underpinning strategy to date. First, the idea of HIV as a ‘global emergency’ which calls for an extraordinary response.  Second, the claim that medicine offers the best way of dealing with it. The book also identified the rise of something more dominant – namely Global AIDS – or the logic and system that seeks to displace all others. Promulgated by UNAIDS and its partner agencies, Global AIDS claims to speak the truth on behalf of affected persons and communities everywhere.  Founded on solidarity claims concerning the international HIV movement, and distinctive knowledge practices which determine what needs to be done. Alternative views about the nature of the epidemic or the best response are rejected as irrelevant for falling outside the master framing of the epidemic that Global AIDS provides. But to what extent is this biomedical and emergency framing of the epidemic sustainable, and to what extent does it speak to the sustainability of lives as affected people wish them to be lived?  Does scientific and biomedical advance provide all the answers, or do important social and political issues need to be addressed?  This book provides an innovative framework with which to think about these and other sustainability.

Click here to learn more about the book and purchase it.


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