Local Biologies and HIV/AIDS in Highlands Papua, Indonesia
- 754 Downloads
The province of Papua, Indonesia has one of the fastest growing rates of HIV infection in Asia. Within volatile political conditions, HIV has reached generalized epidemic status for indigenous Papuans. This article explores the merits of using the concept of local biologies as an analytic tool to assess the range of factors which affect a local pattern of untreated HIV and rapid onset of AIDS. A research team conducted 32 in-depth interviews with HIV-positive indigenous persons and 15 interviews with health care workers in urban and peri-urban sites in the central highlands region. The results show fear of gossip and stigmatization, regional political conditions and gaps in care interweave to create local biological conditions of evasion of care and rapid onset of AIDS. The normative emphasis in contemporary scholarship on stigma as shaping subjective responses to HIV needs to be complemented by a full assessment of the physiological impact of health services, and the ways political conditions trickle down and mediate local biological patterns. The concept of local biologies is highly effective for explaining the full scope of possible factors affecting the intersection of social and physical realms for HIV-positive persons.
KeywordsLocal biologies HIV/AIDS Health care Discrimination Subjectivities
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada provided funding for the research discussed in this article, and Cenderawasih University provided research support. The University of Victoria’s Ethics Committee approved the study. I thank Galen Joseph and the University of California San Francisco for inviting me to present an earlier version of this article, and Vincanne Adams for her insightful comments. Researchers Jack Morin, Gerdha Numbery, Ibrahim Peyon and Andreas Goo helped to bring this project to fruition.
- Adelson, Naomi, Leslie Butt and Karina Kielmann, eds. 2013 Introduction. In Troubling Natural Categories: Engaging the Medical Anthropology of Margaret Lock. Naomi Adelson, Leslie Butt and Karina Kielmann, eds., Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, forthcoming.Google Scholar
- Biehl, João, Byron Good, and Arthur Kleinman, eds. 2007 Subjectivity: Ethnographic Investigations. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Butt, Leslie 2012 HIV/AIDS Testing, Treatment and the Sedimentation of Violence in Papua, Indonesia. Western Humanities Review, 66(3):35-57.Google Scholar
- Butt, Leslie, and Richard Eves, eds. 2008 Making Sense of AIDS: Culture, Sexuality, and Power in Melanesia. Hawaii: University of Hawai’i Press, 2008.Google Scholar
- Butt, Leslie, Jack Morin, Gerdha Numbery, Ibrahim Peyon, and Andreas Goo 2010 Stigma and HIV/AIDS in Highlands Papua. Research Report. University of Victoria and Cenderawasih University:Pusat Studi Kependudukan.Google Scholar
- Eaton, David 2008 Ambivalent Inquiry: Dilemmas of AIDS in the Republic of Congo. In Post-Colonial Disorders, Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good, Sandra Teresa Hyde, Sarah Pinto and Byron Good, eds., pp. 238–259. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Green, Chris W 2010 Care, Support yand Treatment for PLHIV in Indonesia. Jakarta: Yayasan Spiritia.Google Scholar
- Horton, Sarah and Judith Barker 2012 Stigmatized Biologies: Examining the Cumulative Effects of Oral Health Disparities for Mexican–American Farmworker Children. Medical Anthropology 24(2):199-219.Google Scholar
- Klitzman, Robert and Ronald Bayer 2003 Mortal Secrets: Truth and Lies in the Age of AIDS. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
- Larchanché, Stéphanie 2011 Intangible Obstacles: Health Implications of Stigmatization, Structural Violence, and Fear among Undocumented Immigrants in France. Social Science and Medicine 74(6):858–863.Google Scholar
- Leibing, Annette 2013 Embodied Molecules: Negotiating Medications in Troubled Times. In Troubling Natural Categories: Engaging the Medical Anthropology of Margaret Lock. Naomi Adelson, Leslie Butt and Karina Kielmann, eds., Montreal: McGill Queens University Press, forthcoming.Google Scholar
- Lock, Margaret, and Vinh-Kim Nguyen 2010 An Anthropology of Biomedicine. Oxford, UK: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
- Munro, Jenny 2013 The Violence of Inflated Possibilities: Education and Colonialism in Wamena, Indonesian Papua. Indonesia 95: forthcoming.Google Scholar
- Mustillo S, Nancy. Krieger, E. P. Gunderson, S. Sidney, H. McCreath, and C. I. Kiefe 2004 Self-Reported Experiences of Racial Discrimination and Black-White Differences in Preterm and Low-Birthweight Deliveries: The Cardia Study. American Journal of Public Health 94(12):2125-2131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Smith, Claire 2008 Indigenous Welfare and HIV/AIDS Risks: The Impacts of Government Reform in the Papua Region, Indonesia. ASCI Research Report, http://asci.researchhub.ssrc.org/working-papers/ASCI%20Paper%2012.
- van de Pas, Remco, and Theodor Rathgeber 2011 Human Rights in Papua: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Kwun Tong, Hong Kong: Asian Human Rights Commission.Google Scholar
- Wing, John, and Peter King 2005 Genocide in West Papua? The Role of the Indonesian State Apparatus and a Current Needs Assessment of the Papuan People. Sydney, Australia: Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney.Google Scholar