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Epidemiological knowledge and discriminatory practice: AIDS and the social relations of biomedicine

Waldby, C., Kippax, S. and Crawford, J. (1995) Epidemiological knowledge and discriminatory practice: AIDS and the social relations of biomedicine. Journal of Sociology, 31 (1). pp. 1-14.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/144078339503100101
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Abstract

This essay examines the relationship between epidemiological knowledge and AIDS-related discrimination. Much of the discrimination literature poses a relationship of mutual exclusion between the everyday practice of discrimination towards People Living With AIDS and biomedical knowledge about AIDS. We argue that if biomedicine is considered as a representational practice rather than a neutral scientific knowledge, numerous points of continuity can be discerned between biomedicine and discriminatory practices. This essay examines three of these points of continuity. They are: the constitution of the borders of 'risk groups', the need to identify the HIV-positive person, and the notion of the direction of infection as it is used to explain the spread of HIV. Comparisons are drawn between accounts of everyday discrimination and these aspects of epidemiological knowledge about HIV.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Humanities
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Copyright: © 1995 by Australian Sociological Association
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/31556
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