Jennymchua Week 4 Assignment

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The purpose of Global AIDS: Myths and Facts is to educate readers on the politics, ethics, law, science, economics, medicine, and history of HIV/AIDS in order to stop the epidemic and keep those infected healthy and informed.

Preface, Introduction, Basics, and Conclusion

  • TAC (Treatment Action Campaign) - launched December 1998; purpose = improve health care in South Africa and ensure treatment for those with HIV/AIDS
  • AIDS epidemic isn't just medical - it's political and economical (need funding, public acknowledgement, mobilization)
  • people don't want to exclude AIDS population when others say "we must prevent HIV"
  • greatest setback = misinformation about pandemic and discussion of just medicinal, social, or economical viewpoints
    • ignorance breeds racism, pessimism, and complacency
  • HIV/AIDS is also a "privileged" disease because treatment is so expensive (i.e. Magic Johnson is a classic example)
  • HIV/AIDS can best be countered through:
    • preventative measures to protect uninfected
    • treatment for those with advanced HIV
    • sustained attack against poverty that piles on top of epidemic (intersectionality)
  • takes average of 10 years for HIV --> AIDS
  • most effective drugs (ARVs) stop HIV from replicating and "highly active antiretroviral therapy" to reduce virus
  • risk = probability that someone will get HIV; vulnerability = populations that face socioeconomic factors
  • author's intent is to create solidarity and unity in treatment/prevention (rich don't need to get any richer!)

Myth #1

  • 70% of people with AIDS live and die in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • association with AIDS and Africa is problematic because:
    • Africans alone don't bear the responsibility/problem
    • it wouldn't be right to not acknowledge the disease being widespread and a global crisis
  • lots of health crises that happened when Europe invaded Africa (forced labor, uprooted families, labor migration, malnutrition, infectious diseases, etc.)
  • when health care was available in Africa, it was first focused on white colonizers and no Africans had access to medical care
    • poverty = weak infrastructure (both dependent on each other)
  • Eastern Europe/Central Asia = highest growth rate of HIV/AIDS (mostly due to drug use/needles)
  • China - due to injection drug use, poorly monitored blood supplies, and emerging sex industry; yet, China is many steps back in AIDS education than Africa
  • Caribbean and Latin America - not as much as Eastern countries, but still on the rise
    • Cuba is poor, but their government mobilized access to education and health care
  • rates are still increasing in wealthy countries like USA, though it is still segregated by race and society
    • marginalized communities do not get proper treatment either
  • AIDS disaster that happened in Africa was coincidental; it could happen anywhere, the authors argue
  • global action - no "safe" countries; places characterized by poverty and deep socioeconomic inequalities will, no doubt, turn into high prevalance areas


The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a global crisis that begs the attention from not only the medical community, but those who are well-versed in economics, politics, sociology, anthropology, and public health. It is an intersectional epidemic with roots in poverty and inequality, and the only way to truly tackle it is to understand its uprising and acknowledge its effects on marginalized communities. The previews to the book and Myth #1 attempt to dispel any labels that categorize it solely as a Black or poor issue.

Updated HIV Project Question

Is there a drug on the market that targets the HIV virus' gene expression? If so, what is its mechanism of action? If not, is there a way to model a gene expression-targeting drug for HIV at all?


  • I consulted with my homework partner Annika Dinulos via text one time about the assignment and briefly at the end of the lab period on Thursday, February 6.
  • I consulted with my homework partner Nick Yeo via text one time about our updated question for the HIV project.
  • The book I read and analyzed for the purpose of this assignment was Global AIDS: Myths and facts: tools for fighting the AIDS pandemic.
  • Except for what is noted above, this individual journal entry was completed by me and not copied from another source.

Jennymchua (talk) 22:01, 9 February 2020 (PST)


  • Irwin, A. C., Millen, J. V., & Fallows, D. (2003). Global AIDS: myths and facts: tools for fighting the AIDS pandemic. South End Press.
  • OpenWetWare (2020). BIOL368/S20:Week 4. Retrieved Februrary 9, 2020, from

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