India ranks third in the number of people living with HIV/AIDS globally. The country has high levels of poverty and inequality, poor healthcare infrastructure, especially away from the metropolitan areas, and a legacy of colonialism that bequeathed laws criminalizing non-heteronormative sexualities. These factors mean that many minority groups do not receive adequate access to preventative and treatment programs.
This book explores the HIV/AIDS epidemic in India. Based on research in Tamil Nadu, it presents experiences of those marginalized by their sexuality and/ or gender, their struggles and their triumphs. Based on interviews with male and female sex-workers, men who have sex with men, aravanis (male to female transgenders) and HIV positive women—groups usually not included in the policy-making by Indian government agencies, international donors and international NGOs—the author uses an interdisciplinary approach. The approach highlights the historical and cultural context, while providing contemporary narratives. The book thus presents a deeper, multi-dimensional, understanding of the context of the disease and comprehends the roots of the stigma and discrimination that exacerbate the epidemic.
An important study of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, this book will be of interest to researchers in the field of South Asian Studies, Sexuality and Gender Studies, Health Sciences and Public Health.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Chronicle of a Disease Foretold
2. Non-Heteronormative Desire: Then and Now
3. My Life is Nothing But a Question Mark: Stories of Sexual Minorities
4. One Foot in the River, One Foot in the Mud: The Perils of Living a Double-Life
5. Changing Status of Non-conjugal Heterosexuality in India
6. Take Our Truth to the World: Challenges and Aspirations of Sex-Workers
7. There is was no Wrongdoing on my Part, Sister: Shame, Stigma among Women Living with HIV/AIDS
8. Should we Not Live a Life? HIV Positive Women’s Tales of Hope and Survival
9. The Way Forward: Advocacy and Change
Sunita Manian is Professor of Political Economy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Liberal Studies at Georgia College and State University, USA.