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Invigorating The Public Body : A Case Study Of HIV/AIDS Activist Confrontations Against Big Pharma For Access To Medicines

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posted on 2021-05-22, 16:35 authored by Karen Forhan
Using 'illness as metaphor," critical communications theory, citizenship studies and critical political economy, this thesis presents a case study of the confrontation between "Big Pharma" and HIV/AIDS activists concerning access to HIV/AIDS medicines; a confrontation that spilled over into the World Trade Organization (WTO) causing worldwide public outrage. The timeline starts in the 1980s, but focuses on confrontations between these actors during the 1990s and early 2000s. By making HIV/AIDS 'public and 'political', activists: battled stigmatization; revealed the politics of medicine; made Big Pharma more socially responsible; influence the WTO's and global health agenda; and stirred dissent against a neoliberal globalization, exposing power relations between the global rich and global poor. This is about antiBody (HIV/AIDS activists) targeting a dangerous site of infection (Big Pharma) and combating the spread of two illnesses (HIV/AIDS and neoliberalism which invigorated the 'public body' in terms of public health and debate.





Master of Arts


Communication and Culture

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type