Sex, Disease, and Society: A Comparative History of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific

Sex, Disease, and Society: A Comparative History of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific

Sex, Disease, and Society: A Comparative History of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific

Sex, Disease, and Society: A Comparative History of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific

Synopsis

This work identifies significant factors influencing, on the one hand, the historical pattern of sexually acquired diseases in 12 countries in Asia and the Pacific and, on the other hand, factors shaping the government and community responses to that pattern. Contributors analyze the role of supranational forces such as colonialism and economic modernization as well as distinctive national factors. The geographic scope is wide, extending from India in the west, to China in the east, to Australia in the south. The chronological scope is equally ambitious and contributors review two centuries or more of history, while also addressing the effect of the AIDS pandemic in a region of great social and economic dynamism. A number of factors including gender and economic inequality, as well as colonialism and economic growth, have been identified as important to the historical spread of sexually transmitted diseases and to the collective response of the spread. Quantitative data on disease incidence and mortality are used extensively throughout the book as are demographic, economic, and social statistics.

Excerpt

Researching the history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDS) in Australia, senior editor Milton Lewis became impressed by the way social and cultural, especially moral and religious, factors "complicated" community, government, and medical responses to control of these diseases. This was also the case in Europe and North America. He came to the conclusion that the relationship of social and other contextual factors to STDs would be even more clearly illustrated in an international comparative history that included socially, economically, culturally, and politically diverse countries. He devised a plan to bring out a series of books on the history of STDs and HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) in major regions of the world: (1) in Asia and the Pacific, (2) in Africa, (3) in Europe (including eastern Europe and Russia) and North America, and (4) in Latin America. Seeing the need for expert regional knowledge as input into the editorial process, he invited area specialists with expertise in the history of disease to join him as coeditors of the first two books. Scott Bamber, a medical anthropologist who works on health in Thailand, is coeditor of the Asia/Pacific book, while Michael Waugh, consultant genitourinary physician, historian of venereology, and president of the International Union against Venereal Diseases and the Treponematoses, is second coeditor. Maryinez Lyons, an historian of HIV/AIDS in Uganda, is coeditor of the Africa book, and work has commenced on this second book.

The editors' hope is that the series will permit the effects of the social and cultural context to be viewed comparatively at two levels: internally to each region by intercountry comparison and, at one level up, by interregional comparison. However, the structure of comparative analysis has not been laid down in . . .

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