AIDS Alibis

Sex, Drugs, and Crime in the Americas

Stephanie Kane
Book Cover

PB: $31.95
EAN: 978-1-56639-628-8
Publication: Jun 98

HC: $69.50
EAN: 978-1-56639-627-1
Publication: Jun 98

Ebook: $31.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0613-2

256 pages
5.5 x 8.25
4 figs., 3 halftones

A fresh, astute means for debating the issues connecting the AIDS pandemic to government policy and crime in the Americas

Read an excerpt from Chapter 2 (pdf).


AIDS Alibis tackles the cultural landscape upon which AIDS, often accompanied by poverty, drug addiction, and crime, proliferates on a global scale. Stephanie Kane layers stories of individuals and events—from Chicago to Belize City, to cyberspace—to illustrate the paths of HIV infection and the effects of environment, government intervention, and social mores. Linking ordinary yet kindred lives in communities around the globe, Kane challenges the assumptions underlying the use of police and courts to solve health problems.

The stories reveal the dynamics that determine how the policy decisions of white-collar health-care professionals actually play out in real life. By focusing on life-changing social problems, the narratives highlight the contradictions between public health and criminal law. Look at how HIV has transformed our social consciousness, from intimate touch to institutional outreach. But, Kane argues, these changes are dwarfed by the United States' refusal to stop the war on drugs, in effect misdirecting resources and awareness.

AIDS Alibis combines empirical and interpretive methods in a path-breaking attempt to recognize the extent to which coercive institutional practices are implicated in HIV transmission patterns. Kane shows how the virus feeds on the politics of inequality and indifference, even as it exploits the human need for intimacy and release.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Part I: Work
2. Prostitution North
3. Folk Surveillance
4. Prostitution South

Part II: Escape
5. Death Rite
6. Losing It
7. Illusion and Control
8. Easter in Livingston

Part III: Crime
9. Desperate
10. The Positively Arrogant Mishap
11. Outtakes
12. Everything I Have Is Yours


About the Author(s)

Stephanie Kane is Professor in the Department of International Studies in the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University. She is the author of The Phantom Gringo Boat: Shamanic Discourse and Development in Panama.