POST-AIDS DISCOURSE & “END OF AIDS” IDEOLOGIES
The post-AIDS era started in the late-1990s in research communities seeking to provide support for people living with HIV/AIDS. New medical technologies (called combination antiretrovirals or simply ARVs) suppressed the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and regulated the symptoms that led to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) diagnosis. As Gary Dowsett (2017) suggests, “the arrival of [ARVs] began moving the locus of control in managing HIV away from gay communities and back to the clinics and the biomedical industries.” The “post” of AIDS discourse illustrated how individualised narratives about chronic HIV superseded the dominance of cultural and social approaches, then largely visible through queer-led AIDS activism. In short, the term “post-AIDS” signifies a technical period of “chronic wellness” in which people living with HIV on effective treatment can live “ordinary” and biomedically monitored lives.
A variety of scholars have written or continue to write about post-AIDS related issues. The late Eric Rofes, for instance, wrote extensively about the “re-generation” of gay male life in the late 1990s. His work on “collective hope” of post-AIDS communities has contributed to trends in queer and affective theory, especially related to work by Kane Race, David Eng, Heather Love, José Esteban Muñoz, and Dion Kagan. Foundational to post-AIDS theory and critique is the work of Douglas Crimp, David Román, Gregg Bordowitz, Paul Butler, Ross Chambers, Tim Dean, David Halperin, Sarah Schulman, and David Caron. For a detailed chronology of texts about HIV discourse(s) and the development of “post-AIDS” scholarship, please visit this link.
My research in this area concerns how HIV discourses, narratives and cultural theories have developed using post-AIDS approaches. I am interested in how activists, artists, scholars and historians in the U.S. and U.K. design sexual health education, archive HIV histories, construct and disseminate “viral literacy,” and negotiate queer community health practices. I am also interested in understanding how post-AIDS epistemologies develop alongside conceptions of health and wellness in the history and philosophy of medicine.
Related work has appeared in various publications, including The Polyphony, The Queerness, Mainly Male, Instinct Magazine, and Oxford Queer Studies Network. This research is largely undertaken as a doctoral project (2018-2021) at the University of Edinburgh. For more about my research, please visit my curriculum vitae.
Gender-inclusive housing (GIH) serves as an alternative space for transgender, transitioning, and gender-queer students. Its primary goal is to de-normalize the gender dichotomy by maintaining gender as a socially-constructed reality, though each university interprets the need of gender and sexual(ity) representation differently. Please visit the following links to learn more about gender-inclusive research at US institutions of higher education.
This research on gender-inclusive housing in the United States was undertaken as a political project to bring GIH to The Ohio State University.