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From Deadly Disease to Chronic Condition: A Study of the Gay Casualties in the 'War on AIDS' in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Every society in the world has its own AIDS story. A story of uncertainty, moral panic, and social persecution of sexual and ethnical minorities. Sweden is no exception. However, what makes Sweden an exceptional case worthy of anthropological attention, is the fact that even though Sweden in retrospect never experienced an ‘actual’ AIDS epidemic, Swedish AIDS politics were still characterized by severe political coercion and social governance other European nations failed to live up to. This thesis deals with the implementation of public policy and legislative regulations, put into force as to ‘combat’ the new threat of AIDS in Sweden. By engaging as a moderate participant, and conducting interviews with and amongst state agencies, as well as NGOs working with the issues of HIV and AIDS in Sweden, I sought to examine the bureaucratic processes of producing and negotiating knowledge surrounding HIV. Considering that certain groups, such as women, gay men, and migrants, always have been the targets of AIDS education, while leaving (white) heterosexual men exempted, I turned my focus to the depiction of gay men found in bureaucratic artefacts and past legislative debates. When it comes to HIV prevalence in the West, gay men have always been overrepresented. Yet, they have failed to become one of the most prioritized prevention groups. The depiction of the “gay man” during the AIDS crisis was hugely ambivalent, as ‘he’ was seen as both an unfortunate victim and a dangerous perpetrator. With this study, I hope to make the issues of HIV and AIDS visible again.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 123 p.
Keyword [en]
HIV, AIDS, blood, knowledge production, policy, bureaucracy, documents, risk, gay men, prevention, treatment, stigmatization, heteronormativity
National Category
Social Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-120593OAI: diva2:853732
Available from: 2015-09-15 Created: 2015-09-14 Last updated: 2015-09-15Bibliographically approved

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Nyman, Fredrik
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