chapter  Chapter 1
12 Pages

Introduction

WithRobert M. Ariss†, Gary W. Dowsett

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines particular issues associated with each stage of the disease with a view to revealing the ways in which people with HIV/AIDS deploy available discourses, such as that of medicine, to their own teleological ends. It discusses the technology of HIV-antibody testing, and the ontological implications for those subject to it. The book explores the stigmatizing impact of a diagnosis of HIV infection on an individual’s identity and social relationships and the means by which individuals attempt to manage that stigma. It also explores the dialogic relationship between people with HIV and AIDS and medical science. The book illustrates the manner in which individuals with AIDS construct their own deaths. Medical science is seen as a hegemonic force structuring the death experience.