2017 HIV biopolitical materialities after effective treatment and prevention

Date/Time: Wed 30 Aug / 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location: Monash University, Room N402, (Menzies Building) 20 Chancellors Walk, Clayton Campus

Social Sciences (SoSS) 

Run as part of the Health and Biofutures Focus Programme

2017 HIV biopolitical materialities after effective treatment and prevention

A recent news article (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 10 July 2016) carried the headline, “AIDS epidemic no longer a public health issue in Australia, scientists say.” The ABC Online article made reference to the “miraculous” change in AIDS due to HIV antiretrovirals (ARVs) and depicted the pharmaceutical treatment as a “game changer allowing someone to live a long and healthy life.” Not explored is just who is this “someone,” a story-telling approach which glosses over questions of treatment access and the variability in individual responses to ARVs. Is the “someone” of a pharmaceutically-managed HIV pandemic idealised and normalised: a person with HIV infection and without AIDS, but otherwise undifferentiated? While our current situation might be the end of AIDS as a biomedical problem for many, the biopolitical challenges of HIV have taken on new form and force in the lives of people affected by the pandemic. In this seminar, scholars working on HIV in the United States, South Africa, and Australia share perspectives on HIV policy making and together address the question of what kinds of biopolitics and material possibilities come into being in end of AIDS discourse.

Bronwen Lichtenstein is professor of sociology in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at The University of Alabama, USA. With the support of grant funding from the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Dr Lichtenstein has formed a community-based partnership to provide HIV education to correctional officers, HIV services to probationers and parolees, and training for undergraduate students to facilitate testing in high impact areas. Professor Bronwen is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the Health and Biofutures Focus Program.

Dr Kiran Pienaar 
is a Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University. Her research focusses on the biopolitics of health and medicine (with a particular interest in ontologies of disease); gender, sexuality and the body; and social studies of drug consumption.

Wednesday 30 Aug

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Monash University
Room N402, 
(Menzies Building) 20 Chancellors Walk, 
Clayton Campus

For RSVP’s and further information, please contact Mark Davis at mark.davis@monash.edu

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