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SOC309Y1 (31)

Summary of Readings: Messages of Responsibility: HIV/AIDS Prevention Materials in England

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University of Toronto St. George
Robb Travers

SOC309 Readings 8) Messages of Responsibility: HIV/AIDS Prevention Materials in England 8) Messages of Responsibility: HIV/AIDS Prevention Materials in England Catherine Dodds INTRODUCTION - While the goal of prevention organizations is to reduce the spread of HIV through increased education and decreased stigmatization, such efforts take place within a social context that contains contradictory values and attitudes in relation to AIDS - Central question: the relationship between efforts to engender personal responsibility in relation to ‘risk behaviour’, and the negative impact of individuating responsibility and victim blaming - Our healthier nation excludes sexual health from its four main target areas - Poor statistics on teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections in the UK alerted the Government to deficiencies in this area giving great impetus to the development of a combined sexual health and HIV/AIDS policy - A sign of the contradictory messages given by the Government on the importance of sexual health that this topic is not at the centre of the national health strategy - ROBERT CRAWFORD’s work focuses on the historical reasons for the turn towards victim th blaming near the end of the 20 century  Connects this to difficulties faced by traditional biomedicine in the 1970s - Mentions social factors contributing to public health, yet places the onus (responsibility) on the individual - Crawford, Brandt and others can be interpreted as supporting the argument that all approaches which employ individual responsibility lead to isolation and stigmatization - Understand the production of HIV prevention materials as a part of a dynamic process of social change which includes both tendencies towards the individuation of responsibility and towards the critique of this individuation RESULTS- individual responsibility - Primary focus of responsibility in the materials rested with the individual (80-100% conveyed this message) - Materials are frankly worded, this use of familiar language is so that gay men would easily understand the specific behaviours that required change and those that did not - Readers in Asian target audiences is constructed as someone who would respond best to an authority figure - By the 1990s, many materials aimed at gay men had adopted a supportive tone, replacing the stern directives from the 1980s - 1990s was the move towards harm reduction- the consideration of their own position and choices in relation to risk rather than instructing them how to act - HIV testing as a harm reduction strategy to protect both self and partner from the possibility of infection (given more options other than using cond
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