HIV/AIDS articles for free from Taylor and Francis
There’s no doubt that HIV/AIDS has had a profound effect on the ways we conceive the body and our identities. The impact that it’s had on many sectors of transplantation and transfusion are undeniable.
How many of us have had a to turn down a donor because they were someone who answered positive to an intake question that supposedly put them at risk for HIV/AIDS?
In my own fieldwork experiences in South Africa, bone marrow donor information drives are often mistaken for free HIV/AIDS testing. And in such a context, fears and misconceptions of HIV/AIDS, donation, transplantation, and transfusion are that much more intertwined.
And who could forget the Berlin patient, who was reported cured of AIDS via a bone marrow transplant?
There are countless other examples. With such an impact, it is important that donor outreach and education work take into account HIV/AIDS. To expand your knowledge base on the subject, Taylor & Francis, an academic publisher is offering free online access to 50 articles about HIV/AIDS from their Routledge imprint to commemorate World AIDS Day 2011 (December 1) . Even if you don’t have time to read them now, download the pdf’s and read it over your holiday break!
There’s an especially interesting article by Hayley MacGregor on body mapping as an educational and empowering practice used by South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). This article has several references to conceptions of vital organs that would certainly be of interest to those of you who are concerned with ways that people are socialized to perceive their organs. Interestingly enough, Dr. Chris Barnard’s views about the heart and the world’s first transplant, which we recently covered, stand in direct opposition to other South African views of the heart, as mentioned in the article:
The artists are encouraged to think symbolically of their organs as ‘sources of power’ and not simply sites of disease. Thus, while the heart is at times drawn in painstaking anatomical detail, it is also a common choice for the symbol of power and is often given the popular shape of the romantic image. The associations with the heart also reflect the local isiXhosa idiom most often linked to loss: intliziyo ibuhlungu, the heart is painful.
Another fascinating point the article makes is how the body mapping exercise demonstrates how participants have used notions of their bodies, notably through organs and skin, as means of making a connection to social relationships.
These women thus employ the maps to talk about their lives and relations through the biological. Their body organs are referenced with respect to others, such as kin, friends and lovers; the social is modelled according to organs and scars. Some accounts allude also to relations between bodies and the social implications of an epidemic of illness.
Lastly, I should give a shout out to one of the other articles, “Technologies of hope? Motherhood, HIV and infant feeding in eastern Africa”, by Astrid Blystad and Karen Marie Moland. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting them and hearing a presentation about this work. Plus, the article is published in the same issue as my own article (which I’ll write about at some point, I promise!). It’s in a special issue of Anthropology and Medicine, focusing on Biomedical Technology and Health Inequities in the Global North and South.
Check out the full list of articles available here. Hurry, they’re only free until December 31, 2011!!!!