AIDS Commission

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The AIDS Bibliography
Studies in Anthropology and Related Fields

Ralph Bolton and Gail Orozco

Foreword by Shirley Lindenbaum

American Anthropological Association
Commission on AIDS Research and Education

Dedicated to the memory of anthropological colleagues who
have perished in this epidemic and in
solidarity with those who are living with HIV


  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Bibliography
  • Index and Key Word List

In recent years an increasing number of anthropologists have been drawn into AIDS-related research and education. Their findings, however, located in a wide variety of journals and government reports, are not well indexed for anthropologists, medical investigators, or others searching for relevant material.

The newly informed Commission on AIDS Research and Education thus took as its first task the production of an indexed bibliography, The AIDS Bibliography: Studies in Anthropology and Related Fields. The volume, edited by Ralph Bolton and Gail Orozco, covers an impressive range of anthropological research. The Commission is working to develop a directory of anthropologists involved in HIV/AIDS research as a separate database identifying scholars and their areas of interest and expertise. This will serve as an additional means of linking anthropologists with other AIDS investigators both nationally and internationally.

The need for the present bibliography was underlined by the recent Institute of Medicine report, AIDS and Behavior: An Integrated Approach, National Academy Press, 1994. The report noted that in the absence of fully effective treatment, new initiatives should support research on the role of social, cultural, and structural factors in HIV/AIDS transmission, prevention, and intervention. Members of the AAA Commission hope that this 1994 bibliography will make current research in these areas available to a wider community of scholars, have an impact on HIV/AIDS research, education and policy, and help to put a halt to the progress of a harrowing pandemic, now in its second decade.

Shirley Lindenbaum, Chair
Commission on AIDS Research and Education
American Anthropological Association

Increasing acknowledgment of the limitations of biomedical approaches to solving the global AIDS crisis and enhanced awareness of the inadequacies of prevailing behavioral paradigms used in the design of HIV prevention programs have highlighted the significance of the social and cultural dimensions of AIDS which must be taken into consideration in order to develop more effective means of bringing the pandemic under control. In short, theoretical models and methodological skills traditionally associated with the discipline of anthropology are becoming more and more recognized as essential to dealing with HIV/AIDS as a disease that afflicts collectivities as well as individuals, a disease of societies and cultures.

In the early years of the pandemic, anthropologists were slow to respond to this rapidly emerging health problem. After the mid-1980s, however, this initial neglect was followed by serious engagement with the epidemic on the part of a large number of anthropologists. More than two hundred of our colleagues have joined the AIDS & Anthropology Research Group, a unit of the Society for Medical Anthropology. It is safe to assert that no topic in the entire field of anthropology commands more attention and more scholarly involvement at the present time. Moreover, a major portion of this activity is being conducted by men and women who are practicing anthropologists rather than academicians, many of them working with international, national, and local organizations dedicated to stopping this epidemic. With AIDS more than any other subject, anthropologists have demonstrated the vitality of the discipline as it moves beyond questions of interest only to other scholars and attempts to grapple with societal problems and human suffering.

We have prepared this bibliography at the request of the Commission on AIDS Research and Education, which was created by the American Anthropological Association in 1993 to determine how the profession could respond even more effectively to a disease which is wreaking havoc in the lives of millions of people in communities around the world where we work as well as among our friends, colleagues, and loved ones at home. Our objective in preparing this bibliography has been to bring together a record of the writings of anthropologists doing research on HIV/AIDS, not for the purpose of patting ourselves on the back, which would certainly be premature and silly given the fact that the epidemic is out of control, but in order to facilitate the work of colleagues and students in anthropology and to provide a guide to the literature for others, policymakers as well as professionals in other fields, who are interested in the contributions being made by our discipline.

The literature on AIDS is enormous. Given the scope and diversity of the problems posed by the pandemic, this is appropriate. As noted by Shirley Lindenbaum in her Foreword, the work of anthropologists is scattered in a wide array of journals in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences. We could not sustain a claim that the present bibliography is comprehensive. Undoubtedly, some publications and papers by anthropologists have escaped our gaze. We apologize for these inadvertent omissions. We have not restricted the bibliography to writings by anthropologists. Rather, we have included some publications by scholars in cognate fields such as sociology, history, and psychology. In this regard, however, we were selective, choosing items which we felt would be of most interest to anthropologists because they dealt with social and cultural aspects of AIDS. More than 1700 items are included in this bibliography, approximately two-thirds of which are authored or coauthored by an anthropologist.

This bibliography builds on a previous bibliography published in 1991 (Bolton, Lewis and Orozco, The Journal of Sex Research). It incorporates the subsequent periodic updates of that material which have appeared in the AIDS & Anthropology Bulletin of the AIDS & Anthropology Research Group as well as other materials which have since come to our attention.

We have included here an index which we hope will be helpful in using the bibliography. The index is based largely on key words in the titles of publications and papers. Consequently, it is not a comprehensive guide to the contents of the items in the bibliography. It should be used only as a rough-and-ready introduction to the materials covered in the bibliography.

As the compilers of this bibliography, we would appreciate knowing of relevant materials we may have missed so that they can be included in any future compilations. Such information should be sent to us at one of the addresses indicated below. Authors of AIDS-related publications or papers are invited to check the accuracy of citations to their work and to inform us of any errors which may have eluded our scrutiny. In a document this complex, prepared in moments stolen from research, and produced under severe time constraints with no financial support, mistakes are inevitable. We trust they will be forgiven by authors and readers alike.

Ralph Bolton and Gail Orozco
Department of Anthropology
Pomona College
Claremont, CA 91711

October 1994

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