Branch Mathematics and Statistics Faculty and Staff Publications

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“AIDS is not simply a physical malady, it is also an artifact of social and sexual transgression, violated taboo, fractured identity—political and personal projections. Its key words are primarily the property of the powerful. AIDS: Keywords – is my attempt to identify and contest some of the assumptions underlying our current ‘knowledge’. In this effort I am joined by many AIDS activists including people living with AIDS— Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. “A syndrome is a pattern of symptoms pointing to a “morbid state” which may or may not be caused by infectious agents; a disease, on the other hand is, “any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of any part, organ or system of the body that is manifested by a characteristic set of symptoms or signs and whose etiology, pathology and prognosis may be known or unknown”. In other words, a syndrome points to or signifies the underlying disease process(es), a disease on the other hand is constituted in and by those process(es). The syndrome AIDS, in other words, cannot be communicated nor can the opportunistic infections that constitute the syndrome be readily communicated to those with healthy immune systems. Misunderstanding AIDS for a disease is one of our cultures profoundest confusions of a signifier for a sign. We keep pushing the signifying chain toward that ultimate sign—our collective mortality. Diseases, we are taught are communicable. When AIDS is identified as disease many consequences follows -– not the least of which is wide spread public terror about “Catching” AIDS from people in public places or during casual contact. The communicability of AIDS was fixed in the public and medical memory by easy public health reports. AIDS was repeatedly compared to hepatitis Bvirus since both appeared to be blood borne and sexually transmitted.”


Hexis, Phoenix



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fuzzy models, adaptive fuzzy models, HIV/AIDS, public opinion

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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.