Article

HIV/AIDS

Thurka Sangaramoorthy

in Anthropology

ISBN: 9780199766567
Published online September 2013 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199766567-0129
HIV/AIDS

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Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) represents a group of conditions that occur as a result of severe immunosuppression related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV/AIDS is an incurable medical condition and a complex global pandemic. Although significant strides have been made in the last thirty years to stem the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS, it continues to be one of the leading causes of infectious disease deaths in the world. HIV/AIDS has claimed more than 25 million lives, and as of 2010, there are approximately 34 million people living with HIV/AIDS globally, with a significant majority residing in sub-Saharan Africa. HIV/AIDS is also a social phenomenon that reflects various forms of global inequalities. It runs along the fault lines of society and significantly impacts those who are the most vulnerable. Poverty, gender inequalities, political instability, famine and food insecurity, and inadequate health care standards undergird and continue to drive the epidemic. These issues related to the global inequalities of HIV/AIDS are of central importance to anthropology. Anthropologists have long studied the importance of cultural, social, and structural factors contributing to HIV/AIDS. Since the beginning of the epidemic, anthropologists have contributed to better understandings of cultural beliefs and local practices that place people at risk for HIV/AIDS, advocated for equitable access to care and treatment, and promoted culturally appropriate strategies for prevention. More recently, anthropologists have also critically analyzed the complex relationships of power between global multilateral organizations, influential donors, governments of resource-poor countries, and local communities, and their impact on global HIV/AIDS projects.

Article.  9521 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology ; Human Evolution ; Medical Anthropology ; Physical Anthropology ; Social and Cultural Anthropology

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