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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Toba Bryant

2012-04-02 HLTC02H3 S Lecture 12(11): Women’s Health Issues- HIV/AIDS & Breast Cancer • HIV/AIDS • Breast Cancer • Raimondo (2007) Women and HIV/AIDS o Gendered social construction of HIV/AIDS o Invisibility/visibility of women o Vulnerability: gender differences  Isolation of certain groups of people and geographic locations s/a the African continent (creation a geography of the disease)  Women are visible and invisible in different ways in medical research, policymaking • Race, sexual orientation and other forays that lead to other vulnerabilities • Critique of the gender-neutral definition and treating diseases s/a HIV/AIDS in women o Trajectories of prognosis are different b/w men and women o Tendency to deny men and women o Belief perpetuated in the media that HIV/AIDS is still considered a gay man’s disease which adds to their vulnerability • Gendered Social Construction of AIDS o AIDS and identity politics o “Pathologizing concepts of deviance” (Patton, 1985, 1990, pp. 116-117)  Relations of power based on gender  Drew attention to social contexts of women’s lives  Vulnerability provided a better understanding b/w gender and subjective experience of women  Highlighted global gender inequalities in accessing medication and other forms of treatment  Identity categories developed  Dichotomy/dualism that women were trying to infect (prostitutes) the world w/ AIDS and caregivers • Assumptions about HIV/AIDS o Perversity- deviance o Criminality- legally (sex work, IV drug use) and morally (homosexuality as violating laws of nature) o Mobility—‘Patient Zero,’ dangerous racialized immigrant, and sexual voracity o Modernity—‘dystopian future’ • Gender, Race, and HIV/AIDS o “Vengeful prostitutes” willfully infecting male clients o Victims: hemophiliacs supported by “tragic wives” o “… desperate Haitian migrants”  Poor colonies had increased risk for HIV/AIDS o Women and girls are often invisible  No social and health infrastructure in poor countries and women don’t tend to have power  The report presumes heterosexuality and does not produce ways in women trying to protect themselves  However identified factors that renders women much more at risk • Biological: lack of resources that could help protect them in culture where they have little political, social and economic power • Sociocultural: cultural norms do increase vulnerability even though women may be monogamous but men may not be o Women are much more vulnerable to violence o Lower or lack of education o The sociocultural is the b
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