The Biopolitics of China's HIV Governance

Yu, H 2018, 'The Biopolitics of China's HIV Governance' in E Jeffreys and D Bray (ed.) New Mentalities of Government in China, Routledge, London, United Kingdom, pp. 182-203.


Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Book Chapters

Title The Biopolitics of China's HIV Governance
Author(s) Yu, H
Year 2018
Title of book New Mentalities of Government in China
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Editor(s) E Jeffreys and D Bray
Start page 182
End page 203
Subjects Asian Cultural Studies
Summary Haiqing Yu examines changing approaches to the governance of HIV in China. China's health authorities no longer deny the existence of AIDS; they now justify particular forms of intervention based on a strategy of essentializing the HIV-positive 'other' as 'unruly' and 'distanced'. This strategy has divided the population into those who are deemed capable of regulating and governing their own behaviours, and those who are not. It has also generated a form of counter-biopolitics, as new forms of social activism and political subjectivities are being forged around the deleterious effect of exclusion on ailing bodies. This chapter looks at a well-studied topic China's governance of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) through the wider lens provided by the Foucauldian concept of governmentality. It outlines China's changing HIV demography and government responses, showing how the sexualization' of HIV has encouraged the inclusion of market-oriented and self-governing approaches to state-centred responses. The chapter then shows how the discourse of suzhi and the rhetoric of crisis essentialize the HIV-positive and at-risk' groups of the Chinese population as an unruly and devalued other', while promising a life of surplus and quality for others. It also tethers the logic of dividing practices to ranking practices that place people living with HIV and AIDS at the bottom of a moral hierarchy and places the AIDS epidemic at the top of a pathological hierarchy of infectious diseases.
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ISBN 9781138351486
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