Visualizing Toxic Discourse(s): Reproducing Vulnerability to HIV in Santa Ana

Description

The needle exchange program in Santa Ana was recently gutted by the city (LA Times 2018). “Public welfare” was undermined according to city officials who made the ruling in February. The purpose of needle exchange programs is to prevent HIV transmission. State hindrance of these programs and HIV prevention research has helped produce HIV vulnerability especially in racialized spaces (Singer). Medical anthropologists have been key to unveiling the links between the war on drugs and the crises of HIV. In some states, HIV research is very limited due to the use of drug paraphernalia-which are considered illegal in some states. The policing of the issue instead of prevention has made programs such as the needle exchange program vulnerable. "State-sanctioned" violence that the geographer Ruth Gilmore use to show how the state is complicit in the problem- yet absolved from any accountability. 

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Toxic Public Welfare

The needle exchange program in Santa Ana was recently gutted by the city (LA Times 2018). “Public welfare” was undermined according to city officials who made the ruling in February. The purpose of needle exchange programs is to prevent HIV transmission. State hindrance of these programs and HIV prevention research has helped produce HIV vulnerability especially in racialized spaces (Singer). Medical anthropologists have been key to unveiling the links between the war on drugs and the crises of HIV. In some states, HIV research is very limited due to the use of drug paraphernalia. The policing of the issues instead of prevention has made programs such as the needle exchange program vulnerable. "State-sanctioned" violence that the geographer Ruth Gilmore use to show how state action is complicit in the problem- yet absolved from taking any accountability. Recently a mobile HIV needle exchange program has started across OC cities.

The clean oranged container full of needles- shows the disappearance of support /infrastructure for HIV vulnerable bodies. The color-scape of white and orange gives the image a laboratory- office undertone. The official charisma of the picture invokes the state and bureaucracy.

Toxic Public Welfare

When the drug “Prep” - “Truvada”- came into the market in 2004- it changed the discussion on HIV prevention. This drug reduced the chances of getting HIV by 99%. Many phrases such as “Truvada Whore”- or “AIDS-free generation” emerged at the same time Prep was getting popular recognition. Some activists and health organizations see the drug as a threat to traditional HIV prevention methods that over-emphasized behavior-”abstinence”, “condom use” exct. Harmful rhetorics that slut-shames gay men(Truvada Whore) contributes to a culture of silence about sex. Prep brings to light competing HIV prevention discourses. Campaigns such as #IamPositive- are met to destigmatize  HIV bodies: while  Judeo-Christian influence HIV prevention discourse constrains sexuality.

Toxic Public Welfare 3

HIV Risk governance is strongly embedded in logics of behavior(Geary). This add is a perfect example of the limited scope in which many health organizations based one's susceptibility to HIV. The individual bears the weight of the “future” in their hands. 

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Created date

November 26, 2018