ABOUT THIS BOOK
Since the mid-1980s, Simon Watney has been one of the leading voices in the international field of HIV/AIDS education. His monthly column on AIDS in Britain’s Gay Times is the longest-running column of its kind in Europe, and he is actively involved in HIV/AIDS issues in the United States. His work constitutes a unique dialogue between European and American perspectives on the epidemic. Practices of Freedom brings together for the first time Watney’s pioneering writings on topics ranging from gay men’s Safer Sex education to racist coverage of AIDS in Africa in the international media, from the ethics of clinical drug trials to governmental policies concerning AIDS.
Watney’s voice—neither neutral nor detached—is that of an active and influential participant in the fight against AIDS. He offers a unique view of the ways in which gay men working in community-based organizations have attempted to provide reliable and up-to-date services and information regarding AIDS treatment and health. A leader in insisting on gay men’s entitlements to education, care, and services, Watney was among the first to challenge the "de-gaying" of AIDS service organizations in the late eighties. He also devotes his attention to HIV/AIDS prevention work, research and treatment issues, and the wider cultural politics of the disease, including the role of language, television, and cinema. His analysis of the epidemic as it has unfolded provides a history of many of the major medical and political debates that have defined the course and extent of the crisis.
Practices of Freedom demonstrates the failure of national institutions, from the government to the press, to understand and effectively fight this epidemic, and directs attention to the most urgent needs in American and international AIDS work. It will be an important primary resource, particularly in the United States, where effective community-based HIV/AIDS education tragically has often been neglected.