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The Securitization of HIV/AIDS
At an army base in Luanda, Angolan soldiers train to teach others how to defend themselves against H.I.V. (Joao Silva for The New York Times), 24 November 2002.

The Securitization of HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS is a recent arrival in our lives, being an object of medical knowledge for only thirty years. Since the late 1990s, there has arisen a new mode of understanding – that HIV/AIDS constitutes a global security threat.

Cast as either a large-scale war or global emergency, the securitization of HIV/AIDS renders the virus as an aggressor and calls on global actors to fight against it. This poses a number of problems for photography. Should photographic practice address the broad construction of HIV/AIDS as a security threat, in which all aspects of international peace are at risk, or a narrow construction in which the focus is on the implications for the military? And how can photographs, which generally record the ‘here and now’, connect to the understanding of HIV/AIDS as a ‘long wave’ event spanning human generations?

For an extended discussion of these issues, read Section 1 of the report.