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NCJ Number: 128160 Find in a Library
Title: Disease of Society: Cultural Responses to AIDS (Part 1)
Journal: Milbank Quarterly  Volume:68  Issue:1  Dated:(1990)  Pages:complete issue
Editor(s): D Nelkin; D P Willis; S V Parris
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 185
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This review of cultural responses to AIDS considers the social impact of AIDS in Africa, changing family concepts, sexuality and contraception, social relations of intravenous drug users, and rights of AIDS victims.
Abstract: AIDS is reshaping many aspects of society, including norms and values, interpersonal relationships, and cultural representations. Social responses to AIDS have ranged from denial to heroic action, from apathy to creativity, from withdrawal to activism, and from resurgent racism to the promotion of a shared national identity. By exposing fundamental tensions and value conflicts, AIDS and its consequences will force society to re-examine its collective identity and redefine goals and policies. In Africa, cultural practices such as large differences in age between men and women who marry and a long period of postpartum abstinence have contributed to extramarital relations and facilitated the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases. In the United States, social relationships and behaviors are affected by the trend of more people to live in nontraditional arrangements. While families adjust to the exigencies of AIDS, changing laws and customs may also affect the formation of new families. Discrepancies between adolescent and societal constructions of teenage sexuality are further exacerbated by AIDS. Gauging the impact of AIDS on intravenous drug users requires analyzing cultural, political, and racial contexts of society in which drug use is embedded. AIDS is systematically changing attitudes and practices toward the regulation and use of drugs and toward discrimination against individuals who are sick or at risk. References and tables
Main Term(s): AIDS/HIV transmission; Attitudes toward AIDS
Index Term(s): Africa; Cultural influences; Social organization
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