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Health Policy. 2007 Dec;84(2-3):133-41. Epub 2007 Jun 4.

AIDS denial in Asia: dimensions and roots.

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  • 1National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, University of Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.


AIDS denial has long been viewed as the obstacle to forging effective response in many Asian countries. This article examines the dimensions and roots of this phenomenon. It identifies seven types of views, attitudes, or tendencies that can be described as denial, dissent, disagreements, or doubts. Three major factors underlying the AIDS denial are discussed. These are (1) historical impressions that STDs are Western diseases, (2) desire of some Asian leaders to forge Eastern points of view, and (3) long-held negative image towards the peoples or groups who happened to be at the front-line of the population groups exposed to the epidemic. The third factor is the most important source of denial. AIDS denial is not a new and isolated phenomenon but the one shaped by the global and historical institutions. Asian AIDS denial reflects the authoritarian and moralist grievances arising from the perceived deterioration of traditional moral order.

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