Aids : Hiv And The Pursuit Of Happiness

1366 Words Apr 10th, 2015 6 Pages
The AIDS epidemic has been a controversial debate for many years. As Sturken says in her text, there is discourse on AIDS of hysteria and blame, but AIDS also produces a discourse of defiance and criticism (Sturken 147). Using Sturken’s article AIDS and The Politics of Representation and the film Living Proof: HIV and the Pursuit of Happiness I will discuss the two different discourses and views of AIDS. These simultaneous discourses on AIDS, result from the variation of ways people in our society are affected by the disease. There is a clear divide in discourses between people who have and people who do not have HIV/AIDS and these become evident when we look at how they perceive the disease. For example, through a medical representation, people who do not have AIDS may blame the gay community for its epidemic. However, AIDS patients may defend themselves and critique the medical representation, using popular culture such as films and activists groups such as ACT UP to educate the public on an alternative representation of AIDS. Together the public produces two separate discourses occurring simultaneously.

People who are not infected with the AIDS disease may view AIDS as a gay man’s disease or blame gay men for the AIDS epidemic due to medical representations of AIDS. For example, in Sturken’s article, she quotes “in the eyes of straight people, gay still means AIDS” (Sturken 165). She continues to talk about how the media identifies people who have AIDS as “victims” of…

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