Global HIV/AIDS politics, policy, and activism: Persistent challenges and emerging issues
This publication contains 55 articles that cover various dimensions of international affairs and social life in 100 years. The experts provide prognoses on key trends of future world. The publication will appeal to experts, journalists, state officials - and all those who deal with international relations, or are interested in futurology. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of NPMP RIAC or Izdatelstvo Ves Mir (VES MIR Publishers).
More than 40% of the inhabitants of the planet live in the BRICS countries, and one fifth of the world’s wealth is generated from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. What is also important to consider, when talking about the BRICS, is how fast these emerging countries are becoming main actors, and often real protagonists, in fields such as world economics, geopolitics and global opportunities. This publication collects the proceedings of the international conference “The BRICS Group in the Spotlight”, held on the 6-7 November 2014 at University of Parma. This conference aimed to encourage systematic, interdisciplinary analysis about the importance of BRICS vis-à-vis contemporary debates in the socio-political, economic, geopolitical and legal studies realms. This volume gathers 16 research contributions from 24 scholars from all around the world. It is divided into four parts: BRICS and global politics; BRICS, socio-economic rights and social inequalities; BRICS’ economic dimensions; BRICS, sustainable development and energy.
Since 2008 the neoliberal mainstream, which seemed to be steadfast, has been suffering both economic and political crisis. This makes people seek an alternative of right or left kind. In such circumstances, alternative political forces attempt to satisfy civil society’s needs suggesting new ideas that challenge the neoliberalism. Therefore, both leftist and rightist revolts have been a search for new growth drivers and new balance within societies that takes all the classes and their interests into consideration.
This process is closely tied to several major shifts. The privatization of state’s functions has been doubted and put the return of public capital on the agenda. The voice of people demanding a more equal access to public goods, for example, education gets louder.
There are new politicians able to get this message and obtain a broad popular support. They are, for instance, Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Jean-Luc Melenchon in France. However, what is behind the leftist revolt? Does it have any chance to succeed?
Background: The Russian human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic among people who inject drugs (PWID) originated in Kaliningrad, but research into risk behaviours among PWID has been lacking. The potential for heterosexual spread has not been analysed. Methods: A sample of PWID was accrued using two methods. A questionnaire was administered to assess HIV-related risk behaviours for parenteral and sexual transmission, sociodemographic factors, HIV knowledge and attitudes about sexual risks. Data were analysed focusing on the role of imprisonment, factors associated with awareness of being HIV infected and condom use. Results: More than a quarter of the sample reported having been diagnosed with HIV infection, with higher prevalence among women and those with a history of incarceration. More than half reported having been diagnosed with hepatitis C virus infection. Those reporting being HIV positive were less likely to distribute used syringes to other PWID and more likely to have used a condom the last time they had sex. A history of incarceration was associated with higher rates of receptive syringe sharing among those not having ever received an HIV-positive diagnosis and a lower likelihood of believing that condoms are needed when having sex with a casual partner. Conclusion: Although extensive HIV testing has alerted many PWID to their HIV-positive status, which is associated with less distributive syringe sharing and higher likelihood of condom use, substantial risk for parenteral and especially sexual HIV transmission remains. More active prevention programs will be required to control the heterosexual spread of HIV.
This chapter addresses the interaction between the authorities and non-state actors in HIV prevention among drug users. Based on case studies in Samara and St. Petersburg, it looks into the mix of vertical structures of governance (dominated by health authorities, including the regional AIDS centers, and drug control authorities) and aspects of network governance where both state and non-state actors collaborate on policy-making and implementation. The chapter concludes that the issue is largely left in a void outside the direct responsibility and attention of state agencies and governance networks. It is approached mainly by actors within the non-governmental sector which, for their part, do not have the resources or necessary authority to make the required policy impact.
The article deals with the ways Russian authorities have constructed the social problem of HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immune deficiency syndrome) in Russia. The statistical construction of HIV/AIDS includes data indicating the significant rise of HIV prevalence in Russia since 2000. The study focuses on what and how Russian authorities speak about HIV/AIDS, while there are official data on the rapid spread of the virus in the country. The work is based on a discourse analysis of the authorities’ rhetoric about HIV/AIDS. During his first presidential terms, Vladimir Putin constructed HIV/AIDS not as an epidemic in the country, but as a “global problem,” representing Russia as a participant in international efforts to combat AIDS. The president problematized the HIV spread through the rhetoric of endangerment but without its crucial term “epidemic,” while at the same time de-problematized HIV in Russia by the strategy of naturalizing (“this is a problem that all countries face”). The Russian authorities appealed to traditional moral values and spoke about marginal or risk groups, rather than risk practices. After the deterioration of relations with Western countries since 2007, the Russian president excluded HIV/AIDS problem from his public agenda, despite the existence of the data on steep HIV growth in Russia. The Russian president’s traditionalism, de-problematization, and silence concerning HIV/AIDS lead to the absence of the HIV/AIDS issues in media agenda, the agenda of local authorities, and consequently the personal agendas of Russian citizens. The consequences are ignorance, fears, stigmatization of people living with HIV, semi-legal status of needle, and syringe exchange programs for intravenous drug users, low antiretroviral therapy coverage, and the continuing HIV epidemic.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.