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Drugs, sex, and the geographies of sexual health in Thailand, Southeast Asia

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Sexual health has made its way into the larger agenda of the discipline of geography, as an increasing number of geographers tackle issues related to the transmission of HIV as well as other sexually transmitted infections. A recent initiative by the Association of American Geographers also emphasizes the study of drug use in the discipline. Despite the increased attention sex practices and drug use have recently received, social geographers need to do more to foreground the theoretical insights that can be gained from interrogating the intersections of power and human–nonhuman relations that are part and parcel of these everyday practices. In so doing, social geographers can pry open the debates on subjectivity and everyday practice that currently reside more prominently in the field of cultural geography. Drawing broadly on primary and secondary research from Southeast Asia, this paper examines how health geographers in particular, and social and cultural geographers more generally, might ground their conceptual work on sociospatial identities and subjectivities through a more thorough engagement with the complex geographies of sex practices and drug use. This paper concludes with a discussion of a broader long-term research agenda that interrogates the interrelationships among the geographies of sex, drugs, and sexual health.
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Keywords: HIV/AIDS; drogas, sexo, salud sexual, VIH/SIDA, geografía del salud; drogues, sexe, santé sexuelle, VIH/SIDA, géographie de santé; drugs; health geography; sex; sexual health

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona, Tucson,AZ, USA

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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