AIDS, Fear and Society Challenging the Dreaded Disease
Historically, AIDS is just one of a series of dreaded diseases that have aroused both great fear and irrational actions. The previous diseases, including bubonic plague, syphilis, tuberculosis, leprosy and cancer, have evoked such a sense of dread that rational moves to halt the disease have become compromised.; This text examines the deep sense of fear that AIDS evokes, stigmatizing those who suffer from the disease, as well as their families and caregivers. Until AIDS can be seen for what it actually is - a life-threatening disease - policies providing for humane treatment will not evolve. The book also emphasizes that diseases are more than biological phenomena or individual catastrophes - they are profoundly social events. The ways in which diseases are spread and treated are strongly influenced by larger sociological considerations, and they may have the capacity to change social institutions or society Itself. Rooting Aids In The History Of Diseases, The First Part Of The book reviews the nature, history and responses of earlier dreaded diseases. The next section examines AIDS itself, proposed as the archetypal dreaded disease. Already creating a sense of panic, AIDS is also shown to be a social disease, likely to have significant effects on the social order. Thus, only by containing the epidemic of fear and controlling the resulting irrationality, can the AIDS epidemic be halted.
"Doka has a clear approach as an historian/sociologist, clinician and pastor. They all come together in ways that will inform and move you off your point of stuckness to get involved." -- The Rev. Dr. Richard B. Gilbert, Resources Hotline