The nameless fever: the HIV/AIDS pandemic and China's women

Neil G. Renwick

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19 Citations (Scopus)


HIV/AIDS is fundamentally an issue of human rights. To the right to medical provision must be added rights to the provisions of social justice necessary to the prevention and alleviation of HIV/AIDS. China has become the focus of international concern over HIV/AIDS. Applying the concepts of 'capabilities poverty', 'discursive democracy', gender construction, 'structural violence' and the 'hypermasculine state', the study identifies the threat to China's women from HIV/AIDS; evaluates the factors contributing to this threat with reference to issues of human rights; and assesses the quality of the national and international response to the HIV/AIDS threat. It is argued that there is a growing threat to women from HIV infection in China; that there are gender-specific factors that render women in China especially vulnerable; that the belated epidemiological response is weak and its capability to meet the threat seriously weakened by social patriarchy; and that, ultimately, the HIV/AIDS threat to China's women is an issue that can only be resolved through political reform leading to discursive democracy and social justice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-393
JournalThird World Quarterly
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2002

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  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • human rights
  • health care
  • social justice
  • women
  • democracy


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