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Global Public Health. 2008; 3(S2):39-57.This study is aimed at examining how subsequent Peruvian governments, since 1990, have addressed reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and sexual diversity rights, as well as the drastic policy shifts and its many contradictions. Abortion and contraception consistently generated the deepest public controversies and debates, which made progress in reproductive rights difficult. HIV/AIDS was often portrayed as having the potential to affect everyone, which allowed advocates and activists to achieve some success in advancing HIV/AIDS-related rights. Sexual diversity rights, perceived as a demand made by "others", were generally trivialised and disdained by politicians, officials, and the general population. Positive changes occurred as long as the issue was given a low political and institutional profile. The analysis of policy-making and programme implementation in these three areas reveals that: (1) Weaknesses in national institutional frameworks concerning reproductive health made it possible for governments to adopt two very different (even contradictory) approaches to the issue within the past 15 years; (2) Policies were presented as rights-based in order to garner political legitimacy when, in fact, they evidenced a clear disregard for the rights of individual citizens; and (3) By favouring low-profile "public health" discourses, and marginalising "the sexual" in official policies related to sexuality, advocacy groups sometimes created opportunities for legal changes but failed to challenge conservative powers opposing the recognition of sexual and reproductive rights and the full citizenship of women and sexual minorities. (author's)
Is it all in a word? The effect of issue framing on public support for U.S. spending on HIV / AIDS in developing countries.
Harvard International Journal of Press / Politics. 2007; 12(2):120-132.The frequency of government foreign aid decisions influenced by pubic opinion has risen dramatically in the past few years. This study looks at the effect of issue framing on support for U.S. spending on HIV/AIDS in developing countries-specifically, at how support changes when the phrase foreign aid is included or omitted from a survey question. Analyses reveal a significant effect of issue framing for women and Democrats. Omitting the phrase foreign aid is associated with increased support for U.S. spending among Democrats and decreased support among women. Regardless of issue framing, blacks, Hispanics, and more educated individuals support U.S. spending on HIV/AIDS in developing countries. However, when forced to decide between funds' going overseas for HIV/AIDS in developing countries or remaining in the United States, all respondents overwhelmingly support monies' being used in the United States. (author's)
AIDS and Society. 1991 Jan-Feb; 2(2):4.In fact, an integrated policy has not occurred for one basic reason: in the United States, public policy follows public opinion, and public opinion is driven at least in part by media exposure. The issue of AIDS has been seen as a domestic tragedy that has beset homosexuals and I.V. drug users. Only as AIDS has begun to affect new-born children, adolescents and heterosexuals, and only as the cost of AIDS has exploded, has broad concern crystalized. Even so, international AIDS is removed from the consciousness of most Americans. It can be argued that only when television coverage of third world suffering children and sick and dying mothers reaches the living rooms of America will an integrated strategy emerge. (excerpt)
[Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, Global Programme on AIDS, Social and Behavioral Research Unit, .  p. (WHO File: Data on Social Issues; Report No. 2)The Social and Behavioural Research Unit has prepared its second international inventory of Knowledge, Attitude, Behaviour, and Practices surveys. The report reviews 80 projects drawing upon both published and unpublished materials dealing with 7 major study groups: adolescents and young people, the general public, health care workers, homosexual/bisexual men, drug injectors, prostitutes, and other groups. For each of these the inventory classifies the project concerned by selected key features such as when and where it was undertaken, sampling strategy used, and methodology and conclusions. (excerpt)
AIDS WEEKLY PLUS. 1999 Jul 12-19; 7.AIDS-related mortality has declined significantly since the mid-1990s, although the rate of new infections has remained steady. While recent data indicate that fewer teenagers are having sex and more are using condoms, 20% of AIDS cases in Massachusetts are young adults who were probably infected as teens. There is now a rebirth of denial and considerable complacency about the reality of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Part of that complacency stems from the development and use of protease inhibitors since 1996, a class of drugs capable of extending the lives of people infected with HIV. The initial success rates of these drugs have led many people to believe that AIDS is no longer life-threatening, but rather manageable over the long term. However, these drugs are complex and there is much misinformation about their success rates. The effectiveness of protease inhibitors has been short-lived in many patients, and sometimes ineffective in people who could not adhere to the strict drug regimen. Thousands of people participated in AIDS Action Committee's 14th annual AIDS Walk to raise awareness and pay tribute to those who have been affected by the disease.
JOURNAL OF SEX RESEARCH. 1998 Nov; 35(4):390-6.Using both national surveys and surveys of self-identified gay men in the United States, the numbers, age distribution, life expectancy, and marital status of men who have sex with men is examined. It is concluded that five types can be distinguished.... These five categories have different patterns of sexual behavior, and the numbers in each category are influenced by changing social conditions, in particular the growth of gay neighborhoods, and public tolerance. The typology is used to explain the low rate of reported HIV transmission from bisexual men to their female partners. (EXCERPT)
In: Sexuality, politics and AIDS in Brazil: in another world?, [by] Herbert Daniel and Richard Parker. London, England, Falmer Press, 1993. 33-47. (Social Aspects of AIDS)Physicians, scientists, journalists, and politicians announced the coming of AIDS to Brazil long before its arrival. Indeed, the Brazilian press carried important pieces on the subject since 1982. The press fueled most of the public debate on HIV/AIDS, playing up the more striking and enigmatic side of the epidemic. AIDS was depicted as a mystery, something beyond the technological capacity of the modern world, with death as its most distinguishing feature. Brazil had its first public case of AIDS in 1983, followed by a torrent of press on what was referred to as a gay cancer or gay plague. None of the media attention and related debate, however, resulted in the taking of preventive measures. The author argues that an inappropriate ideological model was adopted early in the epidemic which has guided Brazil's responses up to the present. The author discusses the features of that model. The main characteristic of the predominant model of AIDS generated in Brazil is that AIDS is a disease of gay men or the very poor, but definitely a disease of others.
AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases in Jamaica: highlights of a nationwide survey and focus group series assessing current knowledge, attitudes, and practices.
[Unpublished] 1989 Jan. ii, 19 p.A nationwide baseline survey of 1,200 men and women aged 15-60 years was conducted to find information on Jamaicans' knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAP) regarding AIDS, STDs, and family planning. 25 focus group session were also held to gain more indepth knowledge and understanding of KAP. Results on KAP regarding AIDS and STDs are summarized and presented in comparison with similar data from a 35-country Gallup International study. Virtually all respondents were highly aware of AIDS and other STDs, and realize both its deadly nature and sexual transmissibility. There is, however, only low unprompted awareness of how one may protect against infection and the spread of HIV. General objection to adopting safer sex and using condoms was voiced. Over 1/2 of survey respondents perceived themselves at risk of infection. Both studies, however, show approximately 5% of the population to feel at risk. Those felling at greatest risk are aged 20-49, and especially urban males aged 20-39. Behavioral change was reported among 48% of survey respondents, especially in men, person of lower socioeconomic status, and those who perceived themselves at greater risk of infection. More concern was voiced over AIDS than for all other diseases including cancer, herpes, diabetes, gonorrhea, malnutrition, high blood pressure, and diarrhea. Further, almost 90% believe at least one important myth about a mode of transmission, and 20% think that people with AIDS (PWA) are readily recognized at sight. 5% of the population knew a PWA. Fear followed by compassion dominates public opinion toward them. Specific recommendations for AIDS media communications are presented.
New York, New York/Montreux, Switzerland, Gordon and Breach, 1989. xi, 117 p.This is a collection of articles by different authors writing about the AIDS pandemic from an anthropological perspective. Chapters are included on metaphors of sex and deviance in the representation of disease; the social classification of AIDS in U.S. epidemiology; sexual behavior and the spread of AIDS in Mexico; surveys on the prevalence of HIV infection in central and eastern Africa; strategies for dealing with AIDS based on those used for hepatitis B; the role of a community-based health education program in the prevention of AIDS; preventing AIDS contagion among intravenous drug users; human rights and public health; the legal status of AIDS in the workplace in the United States; and the politics of AIDS at the microlevel, using the example of a gay rights ballot measure proposed in Houston, Texas, in 1985.
WOMEN'S GLOBAL NETWORK FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS NEWSLETTER. 1991 Jul-Sep; (36):60.A dilemma exists over who should care for, and where to place 4 delinquent female runaways with AIDS. These girls have also engaged in prostitution, crime, and are addicted to drugs, thus prompting society to view them more as dangerous adults than aberrant adolescents. While they are presently in the hands of the National Institute for Minors (Iname), organizations in Uruguay are ill-equipped to face such challenges presently by these and other HIV+\AIDS adolescents. Discussion of the issue and society's views is suggested. The views of a few civil servants from Iname are briefly presented in the text. They generally disagree with incarceration of such youths, and recommend there placement in a semi-open environment supported by specially trained doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and nurses. Ideally, a home-like setting is preferred where these young women and others in similar situations may undergo treatment while carrying on with their lives.
Social Science and Medicine. 1989; 29(4):545-53.This article addresses the high incidence of AIDS in Puerto Rico (PR). Reasons include the high incidence of homosexuality and drug usage on the island, and the high rates of return migration and tourism between New York and PR. Since there is very little material on AIDS in PR, much of the data on the public's knowledge and awareness of the disease has been taken from the daily press. All copies of the 5 major daily newspapers were reviewed from January 1981 to the present. 1981 was the 1st year that AIDS was accepted as a disease, the year the 1st medical articles appeared describing it, and the year it was named. Nearly all information regarding the AIDS epidemic in PR has been turned into major controversies: the incidence of the disease (actual cases), testing for it, funding of AIDS research and patient care, methods of preventing the disease (education), the use of condoms, methods of contacting the disease and how infection can be avoided, and protection of prisoners. The victims of AIDS: the homosexuals, drug addicts, and hemophiliacs were left out of the controversies as participants. The controversies were nonmedical and nonscientific, suggesting that the public perceived insufficient interest on the part of medical and political leaders and was expropriating the problem. AIDS was seen as more of a political question than a medical one, with politicians turning the controversies into debates. It can be concluded that unless a strong apolitical socially organized assault is mounted on AIDS by the people, a society such as PR will have difficulty surviving the epidemic.
In: International Health in the 1990s: Directions in Research and Development, NCIH Southern Regional Conference, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, October 29-31, 1987, selected proceedings, coordinated by Maureen Heffernan. Washington, D.C., National Council for International Health, 1988 Spring. 123-6.The issue of AIDS and all Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) is now caught in the middle of a struggle to shape public opinion, and future funding of education services and research depends, to a large degree, on the outcome of that struggle. The issue is very sensitive, being involved with sex and fear. It has been highly politicized in the US because of several factors. 1) The public's education on the issue came mainly through the press, often making it unbalanced and sensational. 2) The public gets mixed signals: they are told that there is nothing to fear from a person with AIDS at work place or at school, but also read that many doctors and dentists avoid AIDS patients. 3) Federal government policy decisions on the issue often seem to be political, not coming from its medical experts. 4) The typical victim is among the disenfranchised of our society, and blaming the victim is a common reaction. Society has been unwilling to accept the reality of sexually transmitted diseases, as is clearly reflected in the way the government has allocated government funds. The challenge to America is to create an atmosphere that allows rational policy. 1) More and better information dissemination is critical; other countries are way ahead of the US in this matter. 2) The issue of heterosexual transmission should be put in proper perspective. 3) Professional training in all aspects of STDs and AIDS research, care and prevention needs to be vastly expanded. 4) The AIDS issue should be placed in the broader context of STDs and other public health problems to avoid all types of unhealthy competition among special interests.
MILBANK MEMORIAL FUND QUARTERLY. HEALTH AND SOCIETY. 1986; 64(Suppl 1):168-82.This article outlines some of the potential societal consequences of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic. The epidemic hit the US after a long process of affirming certain rights to privacy and decriminalization of certain victimless private acts. Now US society is faced with the possibility of having to alter private behavior to halt the advance of a very serious disease. From a liberal point of view, measures designed to restrict personal freedom must be justified by a strong showing that no other path exists to protect the public health. The public health departments in the 2 US cities most affected have shown remarkable restraint in the face of demands for very strong measures to control the infection's spread, including strict quarantines, mostly on the part of conservative elements and press. Actually, the practical aspects of separating great numbers of people (adequate testing, transportation, feeding and housing, forcible containment), preclude this solution, even assuming these people were not overwhelmingly opposed. An alternative suggestion: mass screening, would also present immense logistical and civil-liberties obstacles, even in modified versions, i.e. government-mandated workplace testing, and mass-screening with the sole purpose of education and counseling would be inconceivable: the logic leads inevitably to mass quarantine. Quarantine or similar control exerted over AIDS-antibody positive individuals who continue to behave in ways exposing others to infection risk (e.g. male and female prostitutes) has historical precedents, but would probably have little impact on the epidemic, especially since it would not affect those who, in private, continue to engage in dangerous behavior. Mass education, though legally, morally, and politically palatable, has often not shown results in campaigns to eliminate other types of dangerous behavior. However, innovative efforts especially by gay community groups to educate for safe sex seem to have been dramatically successful.
MILBANK MEMORIAL FUND QUARTERLY. HEALTH AND SOCIETY. 1986; 64(Suppl 1):97-117.This artical discusses the concept of quarantine and social and attitudinal manifestations of it through history, with a view towards preparing for the likely societal reaction to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Will public fears surrounding the AIDS epidemic spur public efforts for a quarantine? AIDS is prevalent among groups traditionally held in low esteem (homosexual men, and intravenous drug users), engaging in practices that are or have been illegal, and shares characteristics with diseases historically inspiring quarantines: leprosy, where the church took a role in the quarantine ritual; bubonic plague, where the breath, contact, and even gaze of victims were suspect; yellow fever, which in the US inspired much debate over the relative benefits of quarantine or environmental cleanliness, with quarantine often winning out at the expense of cleanliness; cholera, which killed 1000s in New York City in 1832 despite immense powers given to the Board of Health to control shipping and transportation; and tuberculosis, which, like AIDS, has a long latent period and period and period of contagiousness when the patient can continue to be in contact with the community. Irrational beliefs associating the use of certain drugs with ethnic groups (e.g. opium with Chinese; marijuana with Mexicans); as well as a perceived threat to racial purity of contact with these groups have often inspired restrictive immigration laws and discriminatory practices. AIDS has shown potential for spreading outside of traditional risk groups. History also shows that quarantines are often attempted over the objections of the contemporary medical establishment. Reminders of the past ineffectiveness of quarantines and an improved knowledge of AID's characteristics should help protect against irrational fears prompting a quarantine.