AIDS and the health crisis of the U.S. urban poor; the perspective of critical medical anthropology

Soc Sci Med. 1994 Oct;39(7):931-48. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(94)90205-4.


The social identity of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. has been shaped, for the most part, by two factors, the prevailing configuration of social relations across class, racial, gender, and sexual orientation, on the one hand, and the prevailing array of public health, especially epidemiological, categories of disease transmission, on the other. Focusing on the AIDS epidemic among inner city people of color, this paper challenges the distortions wrought in our understanding from both of these factors and instead develops an alternative perspective for AIDS research among medical anthropologists and health social scientists generally.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / transmission
  • Anthropology, Cultural
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Services Accessibility / trends*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Medical Indigency / trends*
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / complications
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*