HIV has now spread to all parts of the globe, causing a humanitarian crisis on a massive, unimaginable scale. This interdisciplinary course examines the multifaceted nature of the global epidemic and addresses HIV/AIDS in all its biological, social, and cultural complexity. The course begins with the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS. It then moves on to consider how the epidemic has become intertwined with a wide range of political, social, and cultural issues.
The course is divided into six parts. The first part of the course explains the biology of HIV and charts the natural history of the epidemic. It provides essential information about the current scope of the pandemic, indicating how the spread of HIV is tied to structures of social inequality.
Part Two focuses on preventing and treating the disease, and includes several country-specific examples of successes and challenges in prevention and treatment. The third part of the course examines how specific social and political contexts have shaped the spread of HIV among women, African Americans, and gay men. In Parts Four and Five, the course considers how stories and other kinds of discourse about HIV/AIDS shape our understanding of the epidemic as well as scientific and governmental responses to it. This part of the course also examines the rich and diverse cultures that have grown up around HIV/AIDS, including forms of popular resistance to the management or the neglect of HIV/AIDS around the globe.
The final part of the course describes the realities of living with HIV, as expressed through both personal memoir and the arts. The course concludes by reconsidering the current challenges posed by the epidemic and highlights some innovative strategies designed to achieve, or at least imagine, a world without AIDS.
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A number of seats in this class are reserved for sophomores.
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