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Title: I am AIDS : living with the epidemic in China
Author: He, Xiaopei
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 6816
Awarding Body: University of Westminster
Current Institution: University of Westminster
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis is an empirical literature of HIV/AIDS in China. The study presents the perspectives of people living with HIV/AIDS and analyses how the epidemic has been lived and experienced between 1998 and 2003 in China. One way of understanding AIDS is through official discourses, which focus on the cause of the disease and how it is transmitted but neglect social sufferings. The seemingly scientific AIDS discourses are biased as they are mainly from medical professionals who merely look at physical sufferings but neglect social implications of the epidemic. However, through representations and policies the discourses are influential towards policy and public opinions. AIDS does not only affect people physically; before the virus tears down the . human immune system and takes human lives, the disease also brings severe social stigma to people with the infection, relates them to immoral characters and leads them into social isolation and discrimination. Learning about AIDS can also come about people's experiences and stories of living with the epidemic. Hearing what people actually feel and experience is a way of gaining knowledge about AIDS. People who experience the disease understand both the social meanings of the disease and the physical sufferings of it. This way of studying AIDS calls for collecting the experiences, stories, voices and reflections of people living with the disease. People living with HIV/AIDS from all over China of different genders, sexualites, ages, economic and cultural backgrounds took part in this study. It is significant to gain knowledge about AIDS from people's experiences. The perspectives and views in this respect are broader than official AIDS discourses and are often different from them. AIDS is more than a medical issue, it is more of a social and cultural subject that longs for social treatment as well as a political response. Collecting perspectives and viewpoints from people living with the epidemic can bring substantial knowledge and give social meaning to the disease, which is useful in providing effective treatment. This study is to serve this purpose.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available