Aids And Accusation Summary

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Aids and Accusation
Aids and Accusation, written by Paul Farmer, is a book that truly captures and describes the epidemiology and history of HIV/AIDS in Haiti. Farmer’s immergence into the Haitian community during his research, alongside his educational background as a medical anthropologist and physician, contributed greatly to his approach of providing a deeply holistic understanding of HIV/AIDS in Haiti to the public for the first time (Farmer 2006:253). Through ethnographical, epidemiological and historical data, Farmer shows how the effects of social inequalities, such as racism and poverty, were the main contributors of how the suffering, illness, disease, and violence effects of HIV/AIDS were distributed amongst people in Haiti, and
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Through this we learn that Haiti has been a nation that has been dominated and whose citizens have been dehumanized as slaves for centuries by the colonization of foreign countries. Haiti has been stripped of its resources for years and in present day, Farmer shows how the effects of centuries of abuse still manifest themselves in every day Haitian life through poverty and the general hopelessness of improvement; it is very important to understand the connection between the history of Haiti and how this served to mold the social responses of the arrival of HIV/AIDS in Haiti, both by Haitians themselves and by the United States. The trauma of poverty and discrimination implemented towards Haiti by richer developed nations is what constructed the internal and external cultural model of HIV/AIDS. The first accusation stems from this; within Haitian societies, sorcery was seen as the reason that HIV/AIDS was contracted. Farmer describes how the people of Haiti used sorcery to rationalize and cope with HIV/AIDS. When a villager named Manno in Haiti contracted HIV/AIDS, Farmer describes how his contraction was immediately correlated with his recent success of attaining three jobs. In rationalizing why he would contract it, him and his family members asked the question “who lost out?” in the midst of all …show more content…
In the United States, the CDC named Haiti as one of the four most at-risk groups of carrying HIV/AIDS (Farmer 2006:211). The inclusion of Haiti was based solely on nationality and race; this aided in the formation of the external cultural model of HIV/AIDS, which blamed Haitians for being the source of HIV/AIDS in America, due the their “exoticism”, “American scientists repeatedly speculated that AIDS might be transmitted between Haitians by voodoo rites, the ingestion of sacrificial animal blood, the eating of cats, ritualized homosexuality, and so on…” (Farmer 2006:224). Farmer describes this external model of HIV/AIDS in Haiti as the most prominent example of structural violence. What chance did Haitians stand against the almighty United States to contradict this statement? None. Because of this, the second accusation that Farmer highlights is that Americans believed Haitians brought HIV/AIDS to the United States. In order to understand the gravity and audacity of this accusation, once again historical context must be noted. Farmer illustrates the idea that the United States felt confident in making Haitians the scapegoats for the rising of this epidemic because they knew that no one would doubt it. However, the stigma they caused upon Haiti and

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