AIDS by Theodoulou (1996) is a book about the politics and policy of the disease. The author is a teacher at California State University, Northridge. He states that his purpose in writing the book was to offer "key contemporary research on the epidemic from a broad variety of policy and political perspectives" and "share a common understanding of AIDS as a fundamentally challenging issue that calls for a highly political response" (p. vii). Political dimensions covered included ethical considerations, constitutional issues, bureaucracy, and services within a capitalist economy. Policy dimensions dealt with governmental responses. Comparisons were made between the United States and other nations regarding the handling of AIDS.
AIDS is stated to be a disease that takes place regardless of politics, social status, or sexual preference and yet the handling of this disease reflects discriminatory practices in the health care system. This is reported to be a disease that is not only a health care issue, but an issue of sexual preference, classism, sexism, and racism.
As an indication of evidence regarding AIDS prejudice, the author points out that as of 1994, 22.2 million people around the world had HIV, and it is estimated that by the year 2000, a minimum of 38 million adults will become HIV-positive. The federal government has finally recognized AIDS as an epidemic, however, no overall national governmental strategy has been developed to overcome it. The governmental response to AIDS in the early years may have been due to the fact that candidates for office were judged by their views on the disease; candidates not tough on the subject were considered in favor of homosexuality, drug use, immorality, and decadence. This type of climate leads to hate for homosexuals, a point which is validated by studies of increased numbers of hate crimes against gays. Thus AIDS is shown to be an issue of sexual preference.
By 1990 ...