A Choice Significant University Press Titles for Undergraduates, 2005–2006
This history of the African AIDS epidemic is a much-needed, accessibly written historical account of the most serious epidemiological catastrophe of modern times. The African AIDS Epidemic: A History answers President Thabo Mbeki’s provocative question as to why Africa has suffered this terrible epidemic.
While Mbeki attributed the causes to poverty and exploitation, others have looked to distinctive sexual systems practiced in African cultures and communities. John Iliffe stresses historical sequence. He argues that Africa has had the worst epidemic because the disease was established in the general population before anyone knew the disease existed. HIV evolved with extraordinary speed and complexity, and because that evolution took place under the eyes of modern medical research scientists, Iliffe has been able to write a history of the virus itself that is probably unique among accounts of human epidemic diseases. In giving the African experience a historical shape, Iliffe has written one of the most important books of our time.
The African experience of AIDS has taught the world much of what it knows about HIV/AIDS, and this fascinating book brings into focus many aspects of the epidemic in the longer context of massive demographic growth, urbanization, and social change in Africa during the latter half of the twentieth century. The African AIDS Epidemic: A History is a brilliant introduction to the many aspects of the epidemic and the distinctive character of the virus.
AIDS is unquestionably the most serious threat to public health in this century--yet how effective has the United States been in coping with this deadly disease? This sobering analysis of the first five years of the AIDS epidemic reveals the failure of traditional approaches in recognizing and managing this health emergency; it is an extremely unsettling probe into what makes the nation ill equipped to handle a crisis of the magnitude of the one that now confronts us.Sandra Panem pays particular attention to the Public Health Service, within which the vast majority of biomedical research and public health services are organized, including the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health. We learn in dismaying detail how shortcomings in communication within and among the many layers of the health establishment delayed management of the crisis.She also investigates other problems that surface during a health emergency, involving issues such as federal budgeting, partisan politics, bureaucratic bungles, educating the public, the complications of policymaking, and the vexing role of the press. Panem makes specific recommendations for a centrally coordinated federal response to health emergencies, including the creation of a national health emergency plan.
Every minute a Nigerian man, woman, or child becomes infected with HIV. Soon Nigeria will be home to more people living with HIV than any other country in Africa. With 5 percent of its inhabitants already infected, Nigeria has reached the critical threshold that can catapult rates to nearly 40 percent of a country's population. The full magnitude of Nigeria's epidemic will be determined by its response now.AIDS in Nigeria helps guide that response. Written by dozens of the country's leading HIV experts, the book explores the dynamics of the epidemic, analyzes prevention efforts, identifies crucial gaps, and formulates effective strategies for controlling the epidemic. Complementing the experts' words are the dramatic portraits of people whose lives have been forever transformed by AIDS. Their stories reveal the human costs of the epidemic--and the courage required to overcome it.
In recent years, the economy of the Caribbean has become almost completely dependent on international tourism. And today one of the chief ways that foreign visitors there seek pleasure is through prostitution. While much has been written on the female sex workers who service these tourists, Caribbean Pleasure Industry shifts the focus onto the men. Drawing on his groundbreaking ethnographic research in the Dominican Republic, Mark Padilla discovers a complex world where the global political and economic impact of tourism has led to shifting sexual identities, growing economic pressures, and new challenges for HIV prevention. In fluid prose, Padilla analyzes men who have sex with male tourists, yet identify themselves as “normal” heterosexual men and struggle to maintain this status within their relationships with wives and girlfriends. Padilla’s exceptional ability to describe the experiences of these men will interest anthropologists, but his examination of bisexuality and tourism as much-neglected factors in the HIV/AIDS epidemic makes this book essential to anyone concerned with health and sexuality in the Caribbean or beyond.
Approximately eight percent of our DNA contains retroviral sequences that are millions of years old. Through engaging stories of scientific discovery, Anna Marie Skalka explains our evolving knowledge of these ancient denizens of the biosphere and how this understanding has significantly advanced research in genetic engineering, gene delivery systems, and precision medicine.Discovering Retroviruses begins with the pioneer scientists who first encountered these RNA-containing viruses and solved the mystery of their reproduction. Like other viruses, retroviruses invade the cells of a host organism to reproduce. What makes them “retro” is a unique process of genetic information transfer. Instead of transcribing DNA into RNA as all living cells do, they transcribe their RNA into DNA. This viral DNA is then spliced into the host’s genome, where the cell’s synthetic machinery is co-opted to make new virus particles. The 100,000 pieces of retroviral DNA in the human genome are remnants from multiple invasions of our ancestors’ “germline” cells—the cells that allow a host organism to reproduce. Most of these bits of retroviral DNA are degenerated fossils, but some have been exploited during evolution, with profound effects on our physiology.Some present-day circulating retroviruses cause cancers in humans and other animals. Others, like HIV, cause severe immunodeficiencies. But retroviruses also hold clues to innovative approaches that can prevent and treat these diseases. In laboratories around the world, retroviruses continue to shed light on future possibilities that are anything but “retro.”
Heterosexual Africa? The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS builds from Marc Epprecht’s previous book, Hungochani (which focuses explicitly on same-sex desire in southern Africa), to explore the historical processes by which a singular, heterosexual identity for Africa was constructed—by anthropologists, ethnopsychologists, colonial officials, African elites, and most recently, health care workers seeking to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic. This is an eloquently written, accessible book, based on a rich and diverse range of sources, that will find enthusiastic audiences in classrooms and in the general public.
Epprecht argues that Africans, just like people all over the world, have always had a range of sexualities and sexual identities. Over the course of the last two centuries, however, African societies south of the Sahara have come to be viewed as singularly heterosexual. Epprecht carefully traces the many routes by which this singularity, this heteronormativity, became a dominant culture. In telling a fascinating story that will surely generate lively debate, Epprecht makes his project speak to a range of literatures—queer theory, the new imperial history, African social history, queer and women’s studies, and biomedical literature on the HIV/AIDS pandemic. He does this with a light enough hand that his story is not bogged down by endless references to particular debates.
Heterosexual Africa? aims to understand an enduring stereotype about Africa and Africans. It asks how Africa came to be defined as a “homosexual-free zone” during the colonial era, and how this idea not only survived the transition to independence but flourished under conditions of globalization and early panicky responses to HIV/AIDS.
This new collection of essays on HIV viruses spans disciplines to topple popular narratives about the origins of the AIDS pandemic and the impact of the disease on public health policy.
With a death toll in the tens of millions, the AIDS pandemic was one of the worst medical disasters of the past century. The disease was identified in 1981, at the height of miraculous postwar medical achievements, including effective antibiotics, breakthrough advances in heart surgery and transplantations, and cheap, safe vaccines—smallpox had been eradicated just a few years earlier. Arriving as they did during this era of confidence in modern medicine, the HIV epidemics shook the public’s faith in health science. Despite subsequent success in identifying, testing, and treating AIDS, the emergence of epidemics and outbreaks of Ebola, Zika, and the novel coronaviruses (SARS and COVID-19) are stark reminders that such confidence in modern medicine is not likely to be restored until the emergence of these viruses is better understood.
This collection combines the work of major social science and humanities scholars with that of virologists and epidemiologists to provide a broader understanding of the historical, social, and cultural circumstances that produced the pandemic. The authors argue that the emergence of the HIV viruses and their epidemic spread were not the result of a random mutation but rather broader new influences whose impact depended upon a combination of specific circumstances at different places and times. The viruses emerged and were transmitted according to population movement and urbanization, changes in sexual relations, new medical procedures, and war. In this way, the AIDS pandemic was not a chance natural occurrence, but a human-made disaster.
Essays by: Ernest M. Drucker, Tamara Giles-Vernick, Ch. Didier Gondola, Guillaume Lachenal, Amandine Lauro, Preston A. Marx, Stephanie Rupp, François Simon, Jorge Varanda
This first extensive study of the practice of blood transfusion in Africa traces the history of one of the most important therapies in modern medicine from the period of colonial rule to independence and the AIDS epidemic. The introduction of transfusion held great promise for improving health, but like most new medical practices, transfusion needed to be adapted to the needs of sub-Saharan Africa, for which there was no analogous treatment in traditional African medicine.
This otherwise beneficent medical procedure also created a “royal road” for microorganisms, and thus played a central part in the emergence of human immune viruses in epidemic form. As with more developed health care systems, blood transfusion practices in sub-Saharan Africa were incapable of detecting the emergence of HIV. As a result, given the wide use of transfusion, it became an important pathway for the initial spread of AIDS. Yet African health officials were not without means to understand and respond to the new danger, thanks to forty years of experience and a framework of appreciating long-standing health risks. The response to this risk, detailed in this book, yields important insight into the history of epidemics and HIV/AIDS.
Drawing on research from colonial-era governments, European Red Cross societies, independent African governments, and directly from health officers themselves, this book is the only historical study of the practice of blood transfusion in Africa.
The AIDS epidemic soured the memory of the sexual revolution and gay liberation of the 1970s, and prominent politicians, commentators, and academics instructed gay men to forget the sexual cultures of the 1970s in order to ensure a healthy future. But without memory there can be no future, argue Christopher Castiglia and Christopher Reed in this exploration of the struggle over gay memory that marked the decades following the onset of AIDS.
Challenging many of the assumptions behind first-wave queer theory, If Memory Serves offers a new perspective on the emergence of contemporary queer culture from the suppression and repression of gay memory. Drawing on a rich archive of videos, films, television shows, novels, monuments, paintings, and sculptures created in the wake of the epidemic, the authors reveal a resistance among critics to valuing—even recognizing—the inscription of gay memory in art, literature, popular culture, and the built environment. Castiglia and Reed explore such topics as the unacknowledged ways in which the popular sitcom Will and Grace circulated gay subcultural references to awaken a desire for belonging among young viewers; the post-traumatic (un)rememberings of queer theory; and the generation of “ideality politics” in the art of Félix González-Torres, the film Chuck & Buck, and the independent video Video Remains.
Inspired by Alasdair MacIntyre’s insight that “the possession of a historical identity and the possession of a social identity coincide,” Castiglia and Reed demonstrate that memory is crafted in response to inadequacies in the present—and therefore a constructive relation to the past is essential to the imagining of a new future.
What do ordinary women in an African city do in the face of “serious enough” infections in themselves and signs of acute illness in their young children? How do they manage? What does it take to get by? How do they maintain the wellbeing of the household in a setting without what would be considered as basic health provision in an American or European city?
Professor Wallman focuses on women in a densely-populated part of Kampala called Kamwokya. With the help of a team of Ugandans and non-Ugandans, a vivid picture emerges, enhanced by color photographs, sketches and maps.
Women are largely responsible for the management of illness in all members of the family. Young children are at particular risk and the women have to take the first crucial decisions about treatment. Formal health resources are scarce and so they most often resort to an extraordinary range of treatments provided in the informal economy. A holistic picture of all the options that local people recognize is drawn, and an enriched understanding of problems and opportunities for health care in tropical cities emerges.
Multidisciplinary work on sexually transmitted disease is rare, even in this time of AIDS, and the book effectively maps the social contexts of its perception and management. Moreover, it focuses on women as ordinary citizens, selected by residence and not by reference to known medical conditions or high risk behavior. It is important too that the field strategies have encouraged local informants to become active participants in the definition of local problems and their solutions.
In the nearly three decades since the AIDS epidemic was first recognized, scientists have made tremendous strides in devising treatments for people living with HIV/AIDS. Yet in Africa, where more than 60 percent of HIV-infected people live, treatments remain out of reach for most.A Line Drawn in the Sand captures the determination of several African nations in tackling the challenge of providing lifesaving antiretroviral therapies to their citizens: Botswana, which has some of the highest HIV infection rates worldwide; Nigeria, whose epidemic threatens to become one of the world’s largest; Senegal, often touted as one of the few countries with a model response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic; and Tanzania, whose extreme poverty threatens efforts to stem its epidemic.By emphasizing the dramatic results that investments in AIDS treatments in Africa can bring, the book provides lessons to nations about scaling up their own treatment responses, hope to individuals and communities confronted with the often devastating impact of AIDS, and inspiration to the international HIV/AIDS community.
This is an auto-narrated audiobook edition of this book.
In 1992, Dr. Ross A. Slotten signed more death certificates in Chicago—and, by inference, the state of Illinois—than anyone else. As a family physician, he was trained to care for patients from birth to death, but when he completed his residency in 1984, he had no idea that many of his future patients would be cut down in the prime of their lives. Among those patients were friends, colleagues, and lovers, shunned by most of the medical community because they were gay and HIV positive. Slotten wasn’t an infectious disease specialist, but because of his unique position as both a gay man and a young physician, he became an unlikely pioneer, swept up in one of the worst epidemics in modern history.
Plague Years is an unprecedented first-person account of that epidemic, spanning not just the city of Chicago but four continents as well. Slotten provides an intimate yet comprehensive view of the disease’s spread alongside heartfelt portraits of his patients and his own conflicted feelings as a medical professional, drawn from more than thirty years of personal notebooks. In telling the story of someone who was as much a potential patient as a doctor, Plague Years sheds light on the darkest hours in the history of the LGBT community in ways that no previous medical memoir has.
Challenging the entrenched media politics of who gets to speak, how, and to whom, Hallas offers a bold reconsideration of the intersubjective relations that connect filmmakers, subjects, and viewers. He explains how queer testimony reframes AIDS witnesses and their speech through its striking combination of direct address and aesthetic experimentation. In addition, Hallas engages recent historical changes and media transformations that have not only displaced queer AIDS media from activism to the archive, but also created new witnessing dynamics through the logics of the database and the remix. Reframing Bodies provides new insight into the work of Gregg Bordowitz, John Greyson, Derek Jarman, Matthias Müller, and Marlon Riggs, and offers critical consideration of important but often overlooked filmmakers, including Jim Hubbard, Jack Lewis, and Stuart Marshall.
Risky Rhetoric: AIDS and the Cultural Practices of HIV Testing is the first book-length study of the rhetoric inherent in and surrounding HIV testing. In addition to providing a history of HIV testing in the United States from 1985 to the present, J. Blake Scott explains how faulty arguments about testing’s power and effects have promoted unresponsive and even dangerous testing practices for so-called healthy subjects as well as those deemed risky.A new afterword to the paperback edition discusses changes in testing technology, treatments, and public health responses in the last ten years. The ultimate goal of Risky Rhetoric is to offer strategies to policy makers, HIV educators and test counselors, and other rhetors for developing more responsive and egalitarian testing-related rhetorics and practices.
In the year 2000 the World Health Organization estimated that 85 percent of fifteen-year-olds in Botswana would eventually die of AIDS. In Saturday Is for Funerals we learn why that won’t happen.Unity Dow and Max Essex tell the true story of lives ravaged by AIDS—of orphans, bereaved parents, and widows; of families who devote most Saturdays to the burial of relatives and friends. We witness the actions of community leaders, medical professionals, research scientists, and educators of all types to see how an unprecedented epidemic of death and destruction is being stopped in its tracks.This book describes how a country responded in a time of crisis. In the true-life stories of loss and quiet heroism, activism and scientific initiatives, we learn of new techniques that dramatically reduce rates of transmission from mother to child, new therapies that can save lives of many infected with AIDS, and intricate knowledge about the spread of HIV, as well as issues of confidentiality, distributive justice, and human rights. The experiences of Botswana offer practical lessons along with the critical element of hope.
Unstable Frontiers was first published in 1994. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
"John Erni's heartfelt and insightful book is a valuable contribution to the study of the cultural politics of AIDS."–Jeff Nunokawa Princeton University
The "cure" for AIDS: The search goes on, keeping pace with our belief that AIDS is incurable. How such a seeming paradox works-and how it may well work against the proper treatment of the disease-is the subject of Unstable Frontiers, a probing, critical look at the cultural politics behind the quest for a cure for AIDS.
This massive commercial and scientific project, John Erni suggests, actually hinges on our contradictory definitions of the disease as curable and incurable at the same time. Drawing on diverse sources, from popular media to medical literature to cultural theory, he shows how the dual discourse of curability/incurability frames the way we think about and act on issues of medical treatment for AIDS. His work makes a major advance in our understanding of—and, perhaps, humane response to—a national crisis.
In his critique of the logic and fantasies underlying the double definition of AIDS, Erni explores a broad range of issues: the scientific paradigm used to develop AZT; the politics of alternative treatment practices, of clinical drug trials, and of AIDS activism; and the notions of time and temporality operating in AIDS treatment science. He also addresses the problematic popular themes, such as "AIDS is invariably fatal" and "Knowledge = Cure."
Unique in its approach to a social and political issue still in the making, the book reveals how AIDS has challenged technomedicine's historical position of authority-and in doing so, recasts this challenge in a powerful and ultimately hopeful way.
John Nguyet Erni is assistant professor of communication at the University of New Hampshire. He has published essays on AIDS and is currently working on a book about AIDS in Thailand.
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