Asia-Pacific AIDS Website Links
General AIDS Website Links
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published by St. Martins Press
Publication date: July 1, 1997
Selected quotations from the Preface:
"[B]y the end of 1995 the World Health Organization (WHO) was estimating that there were already some 3,700,000 HIV-positive children and adults in the region and 300,000 more who were living with AIDS. Using conservative scenarios, it projected that the number of adults who will be infected with the HIV virus each year in Asia-Pacific countries will continue to rise until about 2000 when it could peak at around 1.3 million.... Yet much of the discussion about the nature and rate of growth in individual countries and the role the region may have in the world economy has paid barely more than lip service to the likely overall impact of this disease. Little has been made, for example, of the projection that, largely due to HIV/AIDS, Thailand's population will reach only 62 million by 2010 rather than the previously forecast 76 million."
"The contributions to this book fall, in effect, into three groups. The first three provide an overall context and are followed by six that focus on Asia and the Pacific. The next three consider the roles that are being played -- or should be played -- by NGOs, international agencies, and academic and other researchers."
"[M]any of the international prevention and control programmes were couched in terms of Western experiences, cultures, norms, and behaviour patterns. They were largely inappropriate for the complex web of sexual practices and social taboos in developing countries, many of which were torn by internal strife and lacked the infrastructure and human resources needed to deliver such programmes. In any event, for the millions of people in urban slums or impoverished rural areas more concerned about day-to-day survival, the possibility of being infected with HIV and then dying of AIDS (or any of the other infectious diseases) several years down the track has simply seemed irrelevant. This remains a problem because some of the strategies devised by Western countries and adopted by national AIDS groups are ineffectual: condom promotion, for example, is taboo in predominantly Chinese communities around the world."
"Much of the effort of community groups and national and international agencies has to be devoted to changing inter-personal behaviours. Yet, across cultures there is a wide diversity of 'normal' sexual practices which are often very specific to circumstance and situation. The challenge, then, is to obtain a better understanding of the complexities of each local cultural and sexual environment, and empower people there to develop ways of facing this disease in the own, and often very different, ways."
"Moreover, patterns of spread differ between and within countries and the epidemiology can change rapidly over time in the same place. To try to take account of this, we have used 'epidemic' in this book as a shorthand for 'multiple epidemics' rather than the word 'pandemic' which emphasises spread and scale rather than the more important idea (for our purposes) of diversity and unpredictability."
"The reality is that people cannot be packaged and labelled in any simple way: they may belong to many different kinds of groups simultaneously and sequentially depending on situation and circumstance. The internationally used epidemiological categories, and the kind of intervention programmes that flow from them, fail to reflect the dynamics and diversity of human behaviour and in non-Western societies are often unrecognisable and irrelevant. In short, the mental barriers set up a decade or more ago by the uncritical adoption of Western cultural preconceptions and stigmas have been greatly constraining the efficacy of global response to HIV and AIDS."