Introduction: Slaves to the Past

Peter Baldwin

in Disease and Democracy

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780520243507
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940796 | DOI:
Introduction: Slaves to the Past

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This introductory chapter provides a background on the different approaches that developed countries took in dealing with the common problems of the AIDS epidemic. Some countries sought a cure, hoping to avoid the tricky politics of imposing behavioral strictures on powerful high-risk groups or to sidestep drastic statutory impositions that were incompatible with other political traditions. In other countries the state was allowed a nearly free hand in limiting individuals' rights on behalf of overall epidemiological security. Some saw the threat as coming from without, and imposed controls at the borders. Others recognized frontier patrols as fruitless and staked their hopes on domestic interventions. Some shied away from making uniform recommendations about non-transmissive behavior to a multicultural population of variegated customs, habits, and morals. Others were confident that implicit national norms of conduct could be relied on to guide behavior.

Keywords: AIDS; HIV; public health; legislation; human rights; epidemiology; politics

Chapter.  2339 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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