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Taboos and denial in government responses

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The most striking fact about HIV/AIDS is that it continues to spread even when the means of prevention are well known and do not demand costly technology to implement. This article argues that the fundamental barriers to effective prevention are social and cultural, and that many authorities place more emphasis on preserving traditional norms and social arrangements than on saving lives. The case is argued with particular reference to the impact of globalization on sexual behaviours, and the attempts by conservatives to deny existing behaviours and vulnerabilities. Current debates around abstinence, homosexuality and harm minimization are discussed to demonstrate the deeply political nature of HIV prevention.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2006

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