Robert Ariss - activist and academic - had a unique vision of HIV/AIDS. As an HIV seropositive individual for many years before his death on May 9, 1994, he was a full participant in, and critic of, the development of the gay community's response to the HIV epidemic both in Australia and internationally. Though Ariss' life is a definite presence in this study, Against Death: The Practice of Living with AIDS is not an autobiography. Instead, it is a unique and critical account of a public health crisis, a community's response, and the politics of sexuality. It was in Sydney, Australia, world-famous for its Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, that Robert Ariss lived and worked. It is his vision of that community - of its members infected with and affected by HIV - which is documented in this remarkable anthropological study. Yet the study's implications reach beyond Sydney to all communities living with HIV and AIDS.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Series -- Foreword -- Acknowledgments -- PART ONE THE ANTHROPoLOGY OF AIDS -- 1 INTRODUCTION -- The Anthropology of illness -- Methodology -- Structure of the Study -- Terminology -- 2 GOVERNING AIDS: THE STATE-MEDICINE- COMMUNITY TRIAD -- The Interventionist State -- Biomedicine and Homosexuality -- Community as Administered Social Space -- 1. From Gay Liberation to Gay Community -- 2. The Emergence of a Gay Health Professional Class -- PART TWO THE TACTICS OF HEALTH AND ILLNESS -- 3 IDENTIFYING THE SUBJECT: HIV-ANTIBODY TESTING AS A SOCIAL PROCESS -- A Social Test -- Technology for Surveillance 1981—1988 -- Technology for Health from 1989 -- Responses to Testing -- 4 RECONSTRUCTING SELF AND OTHERS: MANAGING AN HIV-ANTIBODY POSITIVE STATUS -- Dc-Signifying a Positive Diagnosis -- Stigma and the Development of Spoiled Identity -- Relationships and Sexuality -- Social Networks -- Family -- Friends -- Support Groups -- 5 iN DIALOGUE WITH DOCTORS: ASPECTS OF A MEDICAL “CREOLE” -- T-Cell Talk -- Systematizing a Medical Creole -- Early Treatment: “Resistance” -- Altruism Versus Access -- Guinea Pigs and Men -- 6 BEYOND MEDICINE: ALTERNAHVE THERAPIES FOR HIV -- The Structure of a Tactical Alternative -- 1. Class -- 2. Gender -- 3. Ideology -- An Alternative Practitioner -- Alternative Medicine as a Health Tactic -- 7 REINVENTING DEATH -- The Modern Way To Go -- During Stormy Weather -- Mandatory Life -- Renouncing Life.Sustaining Technology -- A Beautiful Sunset -- PART THREE DISCURSIVE STRATEGIES OF RESISTANCE -- PEOPLE LIVING WITh AIDS INC.: THE GENEALOGY OF A NEW IDENTITY -- The Project of Empowerment: Foundations The Denver Principles Statement from the -- Advisory Commitee of People with AIDS -- Illness Careers -- I. Sydney, October 1988 -- 2. Organizational Developments -- 3. Media Identities -- 4. Discipline and Organization -- 9 THE EMERGENCE OF A NEW TREATMENT ACTIVISM -- Taking on the Doctors -- Focusing on Treatment Issues -- AL72 1 and the Conduct of Trials -- Community Drug Trial Proposals -- 10 THERAPEUTIC TRUTH GAMES -- Antiviral Research: The Deployment of AZT -- Profit Versus Life: The First Wave of Protest -- The Shift to Trearnient for Prevention of Illncss -- Hidden Illness: Science Gazes upon the Well -- The Political Economy of Belief -- 11 GETFING ANGRY: EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION AS STRATEGIC INTENT -- ACT UP Sydney-Style -- Against Government -- Translating Anger: The Administration Reforms Itself -- Reinventing Our Selves -- 12 CONCLUSION -- Bibliography -- Index.
Robert M. Ariss,
"This is an excellent, thought-provoking book that looks at a snapshot in the history of AIDS in Australia. It provides some insights on how government and science have responded to the activists. For those doing research in the social aspects of AIDS, this is an important book to be read."