Paul Farmer-AIDS and Accusation
1. What does Farmer mean by the phrase “the West Atlantic Pandemic”?
• “The West Atlantic System”—an economic network encompassing much of the
Caribbean basin and centered in the US.
• The Caribbean nations with high attack rates of AIDS are all part of the West Atlantic
2. What is the role of tourism?
• Sufficient data now exists to support the assertion that economically driven male
prostitution, catering to a North American clientele, played a major role in the
introduction of HIV to Haiti.
• Studies revealed high seroprevalence among homosexual/bisexual male prostitutes
living in the tourist areas of the country
• Tourists, not Haitians, were the most likely source of the virus transmission to
Dominicans, because contact occurs frequently between tourists and Dominicans but
rarely between Haitians and Dominicans
3. What does Farmer mean when he states that “A relation between the degree of
‘insertion’ in this network and prevalence of AIDS...”?
• The 5 Caribbean nations with the largest number of cases by 1986 were as follows:
the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Trinidad/Tobago, Mexico and Haiti.
• At the time these countries were most linked to the US economically
• Haiti, the country with the most cases, was also the country most fully dependent on
• Cuba, a neighboring island to Haiti, had a very low percentage of cases in 1986
(0.01% of 1,000,000); they are the sole country in the region not enmeshed in the
West Atlantic System
1. How are we to make sense of the narratives that invoke sorcery accusations as the
cause of sida in Do Kay?
2. How does this logic fit in with a l