Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged AIDS

Passage to Manhood: Youth Migration, Heroin, and AIDS in Southwest China

Heroin. AIDS. Migration. Development programs. Gender roles. In Passage to Manhood: Youth Migration, Heroin, and AIDS in Southwest China, Shao-hua Liu examines each of these issues and how they relate to Nuoso youth. An anthropological researcher, the author delves into how China’s evolution from the traditional to the modern intersects with drug use, disease, and development.

Patrick's Wish

Patrick's Wish is a true story told from the perspective of a young girl whose brother had a serious illness. It is evident from page one that there was some serious hero worship going on when it came to her older brother, Patrick. The book itself has an almost scrapbook feel to it, with alternating pages of text and photographs from Patrick and Lyanne’s childhood, and it details Lyanne’s eventual discovery that her brother’s illness is terminal.

The Other City

Most cities are comprised of at least two distinct sub-cities, so to speak. It’s particularly appalling that Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital and symbolic of the triumph of democracy, has a higher HIV/AIDS rate than Port au Prince, Haiti or Dakar, Senegal. A one percent infection rate of a city’s population is considered an epidemic; D.C.'s can be estimated between three and five percent.

The Blessing Next to the Wound: A Story of Art, Activism, and Transformation

As a survivor of government sanctioned torture in Colombia, Hector Aristizabal was left with unsettled anger and fear. His wariness towards both his country and his future there worsens when one of his brothers is murdered by paramilitary soldiers. Aristizabal is eventually able to cast aside his bitterness, and find ways to aid others in their struggles by holding workshops for prisoners and victims of violence in the United States.

Sin, Sex and Stigma: A Pacific Response to HIV and AIDS

If you took an undergraduate course in anthropology, chances are high that you learned about the South Pacific. Notables like Margaret Mead and Bronislau Malinowski made their marks there, and it continues to be a part of the world that many think of with intrigue and wonder.

Fig Trees

It’s hard to explain Fig Trees. It’s an opera yet it's also a documentary. There’s an albino squirrel and a nun. It scrutinizes the critical circumstances of the AIDS epidemic, from the 1980s to the present day, and points out, with sharp observations, the irony of consumer-driven AIDS campaigns. The main issues addressed are the ineffectiveness of governments and the greediness of pharmaceutical companies, but popular culture is not completely innocent either. In Fig Trees, director John Greyson documents the story of South African AIDS activist, Zackie Achmat.

Infectious Ideas: U.S. Political Responses to the AIDS Crisis

From the early appearance of AIDS as deviant in conservative America in the early 1980s to a full blown global battle in the 2000s, Infectious Ideas charts the activism behind the disease and how it never once wasn’t a political problem. What readers will learn with this book is that knowledge of the disease evolved alongside activist work.

Missing Bodies: The Politics of Visibility

It is hard to deny the creeping, theatrical aspect that seems to permeate every mode of information and method of exposure we are subjected to daily. While once relegated to advertisements, television, and movies, the careful craft of showcasing and presenting certain bodies is now seen in governments, military, and the health industry. Why some bodies are overexposed while others are seemingly non-existent is useful in determining the underpinnings of American society and agenda.

Hiding in Hip Hop: On The Down Low in the Entertainment Industry—From Music to Hollywood

Terrance Dean opens his book, Hiding in Hip Hop, with two quotes, one from Ellen Degeneres, in which she states, “If it weren’t for blacks, Jews, and gays, there would be no Oscars.” The other was from The Bhagavad Gita: “It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with p

Moral Panics, Sex Panics: Fear and the Fight over Sexual Rights

The war on drugs. The down low. Rainbow parties. Obamacare death panels. Our society has a crazy way of taking contemporary moral issues and, with a dash of religious fervor and moral superiority and a pinch of media dramatization, blowing them up into large-scale panics.

Call Me Ahab

Anne Finger’s award-winning Call Me Ahab showcases a plethora of historical and literary characters—each of whom is in some way disabled—and imagines new scenarios for their lives. It’s an exciting concept and while several of the stories in the nine-story collection left me cold, Finger is to be lauded for her originality. Her talent is particularly vivid in "Vincent." Here, Finger brings Vincent Van Gogh into the late twentieth century.


Tapologo is a full-length documentary shot in Northwest Province, South Africa. Directors Gabriella and Sally Gutierrez Dewar chronicle a handful of the 20,000 displaced African refugees in a squatter camp called Freedom Park. Here we are exposed to life and death in a place where fifty percent of the women are infected with HIV. The film is divided into two parts. Part one opens inside the shack of an emaciated woman receiving care from two local nurses.

Anthropology and Public Health: Bridging Differences in Culture and Society, Second Edition

With the space allotted, I couldn’t render the titles and names of the fifty-some authors of the twenty-five chapters that make up this exciting collection. It is called a second edition of the earlier volume edited by Robert Hahn, but it is entirely new. It overlaps only by the still-compelling final chapter, George Foster’s 1987 critique of international health bureaucracies (which I read in grad school).

Cocoa Butter Body Cream: Vanilla Mocha

I love my organs! My kidneys are awesome. As bad as I have been to my liver, it has never let me down. My heart is a hard-working love machine. Although, I must say, my absolute favorite organ has to be my skin, and the best part is that I have lots of it! My skin has been so good to me, I am certainly grateful that, even after years of long baby oil tanning sessions, it still appears mildly even-colored, and I haven’t attained that proverbial fried-pork-rind look.

Will to Live: AIDS Therapies and the Politics of Survival

Ethnographers, novelists, and prisoners write heart-wrenching books because they present simple truths. Will to Live is a powerful, at points searing ethnography of HIV antibody surveillance systems in Brazil and pharmaceutical industry influence in bringing forth new relations of politics and health care.

The Lesbian and Gay Movements: Assimilation or Liberation?

The Lesbian and Gay Movements: Assimilation or Liberation? is a history of post-Stonewall GLBTQ activism as seen through three focused battles: the AIDS crisis, the ban on gays in the military, and the conflict over gay marriage. Craig Rimmerman presents a detailed breakdown of each, assembling them into a supposed study of the differences and relative importance of assimilationist and liberationist strategies.

Broken World

Don’t be fooled by the title of Joseph Lease’s collection of poems, though the world may be “broken,” the collection spends its time rebuilding, rationalizing and living despite it. Repetition fuels the elegy, “Broken World (for James Assatly),” a poem built in sections, a poem that works to remember a friend and writer who died of AIDS.

Life Support

HIV isn't the death sentence that it used to be, but that doesn't mean it isn't affecting people's lives in enormous ways. Life Support is a new film starring Queen Latifah, inspired by a true story, that tackles the complexities of living with the virus, particularly as low-income, women of color. This film couldn't come at a better time, as infection rates continue to grow among young, African American girls.