A Note on the Text
How to Have Theory in an Epidemic chronicles cultural, intellectual, and
political engagements with AIDS/HIV over nearly two decades. Many
chapters were originally written and published to address problems,
events, or issues at particular points in the epidemic's evolution. In re-
vising them to form a coherent intellectual narrative, I have nevertheless
tried to preserve a strong sense of the occasions and imperatives that
first shaped their composition. Even when material is largely new, I
have tried to invoke and be true to the contemporary context of the events
and issues described. Chapter
2,
for example, examines evolving concep-
tions of gender in AIDS discourse from 198r to 1988; although written in
the mid-1990S, the chapter's critique is based less on hindsight than on
the struggles surrounding knowledge and action that were taking shape
throughout that first decade of crisis.
The term
AIDS
in this book refers to the AIDS epidemic as a broad social
and cultural crisisj the terms HIV disease and AIDS and HIV infection are
used interchangeably to mean the broad clinical spectrum of Hlv-related
conditions from asymptomatic infection to the specific diseases presently
used to define AIDS (I use AIDS to mean the inclusive medical spectrum
only if this sense is clear in context). I also use
AIDS/HIV
rather than
HIV / AIDS
to preserve continuity with earlier alphabetical listings.
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