Despite biomedical advances in the fight against HIV, Aggleton and Parker argue, many socially excluded groups continue to face disproportionately high transmission rates, as well as stigma, discrimination, and violence. They see this failure as a result of the increasing “biomedicalization” of the movement, leading to a narrowing in the understanding of expertise and a diminished regard for important social factors. For example, information and research utilized to make policy recommendations often neglects the communities these policies most affect, thus failing to recognize the knowledge and resources already within localized communities, such as the innovative efforts to identify and encourage safer sex practices and to improve access to HIV treatment and education. Aggleton and Parker argue that honesty, a more nuanced understanding of sexual practices, and involvement in political activism are critical to the fight against HIV. MSM, men who have sex with transgender people, and other community members impacted by HIV, or involved in the advocacy of persons living with HIV, are a critical component to successfully address the epidemic and move beyond biomedicalization, while improving access and quality of care.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy challenges barriers to the rights and health of people affected by HIV through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks, and resources. We support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change that is rooted in racial, gender, and economic justice.