The Normalization of the HIV and AIDS Epidemic in South Africa: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Normalization of the HIV and AIDS Epidemic in South Africa

1st Edition

By Katinka de Wet


160 pages

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Hardback: 9780367193553
pub: 2019-10-01
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This book explores the normalization of HIV and AIDS, reflecting upon the intended and unintended consequences of the multifarious "AIDS industry".

The Normalization of the HIV and AIDS Epidemic in South Africa deals with the manner in which the HIV and AIDS epidemic has become such a well-known disease with such wide-ranging ramifications. With its focus on the "AIDS industry", the book examines issues such as the framing of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in a manner that greatly fostered notions of stigmatization and moralization. The book looks at the complexities of dealing with the epidemic in contemporary South Africa, examining the difficulties of addressing the social aspects of a disease in the context of increased focus on technological quick-fix solutions. De Wet explores these issues thoroughly, looking at the social determinants of the spread of the disease as well as the configuration and the nature of the responses to it, and their increasing marginalization as factors to address in an era of increased biomedicalization and concomitant normalization.

This book will intrigue scholars and students of public health, global healthcare, medical sociology and African Studies.

Table of Contents

1. From exceptionality to ordinariness: How HIV and AIDS lost its sex appeal

2. Dollars, Donors and Drugs: South Africa in the Era of Global Health

3. "Thin Citizenship" of Community Health Workers

4. The continued relevance of HIV and AIDS Activism: 'Help prevent a sequel'…

5. The AIDS industry: entanglements, ethics, and the future of AIDS as we know it

About the Author

Katinka de Wet is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Free State, South Africa.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Health in Africa

Health is supremely political. It mirrors a society’s most rudimentary status, answering questions such as ‘Who dies?’, ‘Who lives?’, ‘Who suffers?’, ‘Who thrives?’, ‘Who pays?’, and ‘Who cares?’ Global health adds to this complexity by elevating the level of analysis to the transnational and the multilateral. It is no surprise that the cognate and interdisciplinary fields of study of Global Health Governance and the Global Health Humanities have gained such traction over the past decade or so. Since the turn of the millennium global spending on global health has exploded, and the (re-)emergence of horrors such as Ebola, Zika, AIDS, and antibiotic resistance have brought home to governments and citizens alike the immediacy and primacy of health challenges.

Health in Africa – whether this refers to the health of Africans or the health status of health systems on the continent – remains grossly neglected and ignored. Despite the fact that Africans have by far the highest disease burden in the world, and by far the lowest access to health services and funding, the continent and its peoples hardly feature as a priority area for the study and practice of Global Health Governance or the Global Health Humanities. ‘Health in Africa’ only really features in two instances: as a monolithic construct (1) in the study of Health Security (where Africa represents health insecurity, the great unwashed), and (2) as the object, the recipient of external health ‘best practice’ policy measures conceived of and prescribed by the global development industry.

Since colonial times Africa has been and continues to be the object rather than the subject of health sovereignty. There is no more dramatic illustration of this than even a cursory view of who is represented in the World Health Assembly, on the editorial boards of academic journals devoted to the study of global health and disease, or in the senior management of UN and specifically multilateral health agencies. The global health scholarly agenda is set by and for a mostly white and a mostly Western audience. This book series aims to democratize the global health agenda, and allow more voices to be heard by focusing on health in Africa from a social science perspective. It will include single-authored monographs, multi-authored books, edited collections, and high quality thesis conversions, aimed at postgraduate researchers, academics, policy workers nationally and multilaterally, and health governance practitioners.

To submit a book proposal for this series please contact:

Pieter Fourie and Leanne Hinves

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Public Health
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disease & Health Issues