Inventing 'African AIDS'

New Formations - ISSN 0950-2378
Volume 1990 Number 10

Inventing 'African AIDS'
Cindy Patton pages -


Patton argues that Western attitudes about Africa inform understanding of AIDS in Africa, and that an underlying assumption that AIDS in Africa is a different disease to AIDS in the West is underpinned by three fallacious claims: (a) that African’s ‘won’t use condoms’; (b) that African medicine is insufficiently sophisticated to diagnose AIDS; (c) that in Africa AIDS is a disease of poverty. Patton shows how basic assumptions create a split between the West (the realm of science and medicine) and Africa (a world of nature, beasts and ‘AIDS monkeys’) and argues that the use of Africans in clinical trials reduces Africa to a giant ‘agar plate’, benefiting ‘Euro-Americans’ while actually making AIDS in Africa worse.

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To cite this article
Cindy Patton (1990) Inventing 'African AIDS', New Formations, 1990(10), -

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