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ANTC68H3 Chapter Notes -Scapegoating, Promiscuity, Anal Sex

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Week #8: Invisible Women Class, Gender and HIV by Farmer 1999B
AIDS was first recognized as a clinical syndrome in 1981 summer
Physicians in California and New York noted clusters of unusual infections and cancers in their
patients, almost all were young gay men called GRIDS
People impacted by AIDS injection drug users, among hemophiliacs, and some of their sexual
partners, poor men and women
Intensity of public awareness and fear of AIDS has led to many myths and misunderstandings
At first, the rugged vagina was seen as unable to be susceptible to AIDS unlike the vulnerable
anus moralistic reasons as to not practice anal intercourse
AIDS was soon the number one killer of heterosexual women yet the voice of women with AIDS
was absent from scientific and popular commentary
Majority of women with AIDS had been robbed of their voice long before HIV appeared to further
complicate their lives, they have elitism, racism and sexism
3 case studies: Darlene an African American women in Harlem, Guylene is the daughter of poor
peasants in rural Haiti, Lata was living in a rural Indian village when she was sold into prostitution
in Mumbai
Darlene Johnson was born in Central Harlem chronically homeless, broken family, intimate
partner violence faced by her mother
Teenage marriage and violence exacerbated by heroin use, intimate partner violence
Her stepfather and brother died of AIDS, she tested positive too
She had no formal supports, her children began to misbehave, she placed her children in foster
care because she couldn’t provide for them
She gave into crack completely and lived on the streets
Born in Haiti’s infertile Central Plateau
Family of poor farmers
A family acquaintance, an older man asked Guylen’s father for her hand in plasaj, a potentially
stable form of union widespread in rural Haiti, she gave birth to two children through this union
She left that relationship after a few years, met another man, and actually got married and was
pregnant once again
1987, three unhappy occurrence happened in quick success
o Neighbor was shot and killed
o Her first son died
o Osner, her second husband became quite ill and died from AIDS
Guylene began to shown signs of AIDS as well
She had yet another child, but he grew up without aids because of prophylactic drugs
She grew up in a house where her mother did most of the domestic work and was beaten by her
She was never permitted to attend school
She was sold into prostitution under the guise of dishwasher work
She was indebted to the brothel and worked as a prostitute
She volunteers as an AID worker and has been working as a prostitution for over 15 years
Sex, Drugs and Structural Violence
Access to care and services has traditionally been marginal for women who are of color, in
poverty or with AIDS
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