A Magic Bullet for the "African" Mother? Neo-Imperial Reproductive Futurism and the Pharmaceutical "Solution" to the HIV/AIDS Crisis
Booth, Karen M
Social politics 2010; 17(3): 349-78
On the basis of a close reading of popular and medical texts which address a debate over the ethics of clinical drug trials funded by the United States and designed mainly for sub-Saharan Africa, I argue that international public health discourse about infant HIV infection in that region reflects and legitimates a neo-imperialist, anti-reproductive justice ideology. Participants share a fetal-centered logic that US-funded biomedicine must shoulder the burden of rescuing sub-Saharan Africa from itself by using the bodies of HIV-positive pregnant women to transmit biomedicine's magic bullet-antiretroviral drugs-to the next generation. The survival of the fetus, disguised as the well-being of the HIV-positive woman and accomplished by the magic of biomedical research, becomes the survival of a region otherwise doomed by its present state of economic, political, and medical incapacity. This version of what queer theorist Lee Edelman (2004, No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive) calls "reproductive futurism" redounds to the benefit of the more explicitly women-hating and nationalist ideologies of still-powerful right-wing movements against reproductive and sexual rights.
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A Human Rights Approach to AIDS Prevention at Work: The Southern African Development Community's Code on HIV/AIDS and Employment Unknown creator (UNAIDS. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, 2000-06)