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Anthropology and Public HealthBridging Differences in Culture and Society$
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Robert A Hahn and Marcia Inborn

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195374643

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195374643.001.0001

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The Brazilian Response to AIDS and the Pharmaceuticalization of Global Health

The Brazilian Response to AIDS and the Pharmaceuticalization of Global Health

(p.480) 17 The Brazilian Response to AIDS and the Pharmaceuticalization of Global Health
Anthropology and Public Health

João Biehl

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the Brazilian response to AIDS, revealing the possibilities as well as the inequalities that accompany a magic-bullet approach to health care. It moves between a social analysis of the institutional practices shaping this therapeutic policy and an account of the experiences of people affected by it, particularly in impoverished urban settings where the epidemic is spreading most rapidly. It draws from interviews carried out with activists, policymakers, health professionals, and corporate actors and from longitudinal study of grassroots care services. A pharmaceutically-centered model of public health has crystallized and a multitude of networks and variations in AIDS care have emerged on-the-ground. Marginalized AIDS patients are often stigmatized as noncompliant or untreatable, becoming invisible to the public.

Keywords:   global AIDS treatment, Brazil, pharmaceuticals, magic-bullet approach

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