Confessional Technologies and the Will to Disclose: Mobilizing Emotions and Lived Experience in AIDS Service Organizations in Canada
- 207 Downloads
This research highlights how frontline workers in the HIV/AIDS sector in Canada mobilize the confessional as a technology of governance to encourage changes in the sexual health and safety and disclosure practices of HIV-positive men and women. The ways in which frontline workers counsel clients are especially important in light of Canada’s aggressive growth in criminal prosecutions against individuals for failing to disclose their HIV status to sexual partners. Drawing on 62 semi-structured interviews with AIDS service organization (ASO) staff from across Canada, we suggest that the work performed by ASO workers constitutes a form of bioethics on the ground, which is rooted in both the worker’s and the client’s lived experiences of HIV. It can be especially fraught if the lived experience is mobilized in ways that are ultimately disempowering for clients who do not relate to the individual’s disclosure narrative.
KeywordsBioethics HIV nondisclosure Confessional HIV/AIDS Emotions
Compliance with Ethical Standards
We received approval from the University of Ottawa’s Research Ethics Board in January 2014.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This research was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research [grant number 220829-190399-2001].
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Bourne, A., Dodds, C., Keogh, P., Weatherburn, P., & Hammond, G. (2009). Relative safety II: risk and unprotected anal intercourse among gay men with diagnosed HIV. Technical report. London: Sigma Research.Google Scholar
- Caron, D. (2014). The nearness of others: searching for tact and contact in the age of HIV. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
- Cruikshank, B. (1999). The will to empower: democratic citizens and other subjects. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
- Douglas, M. (1966). Purity and danger: an analysis of the concepts of purity and taboo. New York: Praeger Press.Google Scholar
- Fairclough, N.L. (1995). Critical discourse analysis: the critical study of language. Harlow: Longman.Google Scholar
- Foucault, M. (1978). The history of sexuality volume 1: an introduction. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
- Foucault, M. (1980). Power/knowledge: selected interviews and other writings 1972–1977. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
- Foucault, M. (1985). The history of sexuality volume 2: the use of pleasure. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
- Foucault, M. (1986). The history of sexuality volume 3: the care of the self. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
- Foucault, M. (1987). The ethic of care for the self as a practice of freedom: an interview with Michel Foucault on January 20, 1984. Philosophy & Social Criticism, 12(2–3), 112–131.Google Scholar
- Foucault, M. (1988). Technologies of the self. In L. Martin, H. Gutman, & P. Hutton (Eds.), Technologies of the Self (pp. 16–49). Massachusetts: Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar
- Green, G. & Sobo, E.J. (2000). The endangered self: managing the social risks of HIV. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Hunt, N. R. (1997). Condoms, confessors, conferences: among AIDS derivatives in Africa. J Int Inst, 4(3) Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.4750978.0004.301 (accessed 2 June 2016).
- Hunt, A. & Wickham G. (1994). Foucault and the law. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
- Kilty, J.M. (2014). Dangerous liaisons, a tale of two cases: constructing women accused of HIV/AIDS non-disclosure as threats to the (inter)national body politic, within the confines: women and the law in Canada (pp. 271–292). Toronto: Women’s Press.Google Scholar
- Klitzman, R., & Bayer, R. (2003). Tell it slant: sex, disclosure, and HIV. Stud Gend Sex, 4(3), 227–262.Google Scholar
- Lincoln, Y.S. and Guba, E.G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Lupton, D. (1994). Moral threats and dangerous desires: AIDS in the news media. London: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
- Lupton, D. (1995). The imperative of health: public health and the regulated body. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Lupton, D. (2003). Medicine as culture: illness, disease and the body in western societies. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Nguyen, V. K. (2004). Antiretroviral globalism, biopolitics and therapeutic citizenship. In A. Ong & S. J. Collier (Eds.), Global assemblages: technology, politics and ethics as anthropological problems (pp. 124–144). Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Nguyen, V.K. (2010). The republic of therapy: triage and sovereignty in West Africa’s Time of AIDS. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
- Rose, N., & Novas, C. (2006). Biological citizenship. In A. Ong & S. J. Collier (Eds.), Global assemblages: technology, politics and ethics as anthropological problems (pp. 289–305). Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- van dijk, T. A. (2001). Discourse, ideology and context. Folia Linguistica, 35(1), 11–40.Google Scholar