The Borders of AIDS
Race, Quarantine, and Resistance
- PUBLISHED: June 2021
- SUBJECT LISTING: Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Film and Media Studies, Politics
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 272 Pages, 6 x 9 in
- SERIES: Decolonizing Feminisms
- ISBN: 9780295748962
As soon as US media and politicians became aware of AIDS in the early 1980s, fingers were pointed not only at the gay community but also at other countries and migrant communities, particularly Haitians, as responsible for spreading the virus. Evangelical leaders, public health officials, and the Reagan administration quickly capitalized on widespread fear of the new disease to call for quarantines, immigration bans, and deportations, scapegoating and blaming HIV-positive migrants—even as the rest of the world regarded the US as the primary exporter of the virus.
In The Borders of AIDS, Karma Chávez demonstrates how such calls proliferated and how failure to impose a quarantine for HIV-positive citizens morphed into the successful enactment of a complete ban on the regularization of HIV-positive migrants—which lasted more than twenty years. News reports, congressional records, and AIDS activist archives reveal how queer groups and migrant communities built fragile coalitions to fight against the alienation of themselves and others, asserting their capacity for resistance and resiliency. Building on existing histories of HIV/AIDS, public health, citizenship, and immigration, Chávez establishes how politicians and public health officials treated different communities with HIV/AIDS and highlights the work these communities did to resist alienation.
Authors & Contributors
Karma R. Chávez is associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Queer Migration Politics: Activist Rhetoric and Coalitional Possibilities.
A prescient book that matters deeply for our current pandemic time.- Jennifer Brier, University of Illinois, Chicago
An important contribution to critical migration studies, race and ethnic studies, and the social history of public health. By centering how black and brown groups were affected by the AIDS crisis, The Borders of AIDS advances understanding of how race, state power, and disease intertwine in reproducing the citizen/alien divide.- Neel Ahuja, University of California, Santa Cruz