Power in the Blood: A Handbook on AIDS, Politics, and Communication

Power in the Blood: A Handbook on AIDS, Politics, and Communication

Power in the Blood: A Handbook on AIDS, Politics, and Communication

Power in the Blood: A Handbook on AIDS, Politics, and Communication

Synopsis

In this single volume, William N. Elwood has gathered potent evidence of the impact that the HIV/AIDS epidemic has had on the world, its communities, and its inhabitants, and he addresses the role of communication in affecting the way in which people respond to AIDS. With a multidisciplinary group of contributors and topics ranging from political rhetoric to interpersonal discourse, Power in the Blood offers a multitude of ways in which to think about power, politics, HIV prevention, and people living with HIV. Readers will be able to use this information in class discussions, program designs, grant applications, and research, as well as in their own lives. With this volume, Elwood makes a thoroughly convincing argument that communication is the key to understanding, treating, and preventing AIDS, and he inspires further action toward the goal of ending the AIDS crisis.

Excerpt

This is a book about you. An overstatement? Perhaps. At the very least, however, this is a book that interests you. That's not surprising; just about everyone in the United States, indeed, in every country, is affected by HIV/AIDS: They know someone, are related to someone, or are someone living with the virus or with aids. Sadly, they mourn someone who died from hiv disease before the advent of the "cocktail" prescription pharmaceuticals that have extended the lives of many HIV-infected people. Regrettably, this person could be one of the individuals for whom these celebrated prescriptions are not effective -- or who cannot receive such treatment for lack of finances or health insurance. If none of these categories suits you, here is one that does: Every year, some of your tax dollars are allocated for hiv prevention materials and to provide services to people living with hiv and aids. the early feminist movement was driven by the idea that the personal is political. in the 1990s, there may be nothing more personal or political than HIV/AIDS.

What's this book ABOUT?

If you opened this book because you are interested in another exposé on the HIV/AIDS crisis, you will be surprised for two reasons. First, politics is not simply about elections, the policy process, or how someone instantly gains the upper hand. It is about how individuals in a society influence one another regarding what ideas and behaviors are appropriate. in short, everyday life is fraught with politics. Second, our everyday political experiences are much more important and exciting than a single "conspiracy" to analyze, because these experiences shape our perceptions on which electionoriented campaigns and policy discussions are based. To illustrate how these initial perceptions come into being is to explain the basis for what conveniently comes to mind when we think about "the politics of aids."

Communication is the unique human ability to convince other people that certain ideas deserve attention, and that particular perspectives on those ideas are better than other perspectives that may exist or emerge (see also Elwood, 1995b, p. 7). When other people follow the perspective you advocate, they also will believe that only certain ideas, behaviors, and policies are important -- whether it is that drug injectors should not share their equipment, that casual sex partners always should use . . .

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