Vom Seuchen- zum Präventionskörper? Aids und Körperpolitik in der BRD und der Schweiz in den 1980er Jahren

Bänziger, Peter-Paul

Based on popular media and AIDS education posters from Germany and Switzerland I distinguish two main phases within the history of AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s. The first of them comprises the period from the beginning of the so-called »AIDS crisis« to the mid-1980s, during which AIDS was constructed as a disease of the (sexual) other. In this context of sexist, racist, and classist discourses about »the plague«, a connection of AIDS and male homosexuality came to the fore that was unknown in the 1970s debate on the recurrence of infectious diseases. The second phase began around 1985 when the focus of the AIDS prevention programs was gradually shifted from »risk groups« to »risk behavior« – not least in response to the harsh criticism raised by grassroots groups. This transformation, I argue, came along with a re-subjectivation of the sexually active individual as self-reliant and socially responsible. Furthermore, the emergence of the risk discourse was accompanied by an iconography of a healthy and athletic »prevention body«. Since the early 1990s it increasingly replaced the haggard and diseased »AIDS body« that had dominated the iconography of AIDS throughout the previous decade.

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Bänziger, Peter-Paul: Vom Seuchen- zum Präventionskörper? Aids und Körperpolitik in der BRD und der Schweiz in den 1980er Jahren. 2016.

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