ANTC 411 THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF AIDS                TTH 2:00-3:15       Fall 2003 MacVicar 120



Patricia Whelehan, Ph.D., CST, CAI/counselor

122 MacVicar



Office Hours: M 10-12; TuTh 3:15-4pm and by appointment


Books/Readings:                  Women and AIDS.  Roth & Fuller, eds.

                                                Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome, Stine (3rd edition)

                                                Killing Us Quietly, Vernon

                                                Reserve readings as appropriate:      "The Wedding Gift", NYT OR  (OR = On Reserve)

                                                                                                                Nevid 1993 HIV/STD's OR


                                                                                                                  Human Rights in Cuba OR

                                                                                                                Pilkington, Kern & Indest.                                                                                                                                                  "Safer Sex and Romance." OR

Steinglass: “It Takes a Village Healer.”

HIV Plus (OR)


Engines:                                Yahoo/Google


                                       (medical aspects)




                                       (GMHC) (politics)

                                       (CDC stats)

                                       (AIDS Institute, NY)

                                       (HIV testing in NY)                                                                  (stats or HIV in NY) (treatment and risk stats) (medical   aspects)





                                                Google:AmFAR Treatment Directory (medical aspects)

                                       (AAA guidelines)                                                                                             


Student Services:                The University supports equal access to services regardless of disability.  Any student with a disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations should speak with the professor as early as possible.  Students with disabilities should also contact: Sharon House, Coordinator of Accommodative Services at 267-3267, Sisson 112, or e-mail her at for further assistance.  All disclosures will remain confidential.


Evaluation:                            A 15-20 page research paper is required.  The format, deadline for submission and grade breakdown are attached.  Your final grade is 20% class attendance and participation and 80% paper.


Grade Breakdown:              92-100=4.0                             74-76=2.3

                                                88-91=3.7                               71-73=2.0

                                                84-87=3.3                               68-70=1.7

                                                80-83=3.0                               64-67=1.3

                                                77-79=2.7                               60-63=1.0


Requirements:   1)               The research paper is our formal source of evaluation.  Deadlines are non-negotiable.

2)             Class attendance is mandatory.  I follow the attendance policy described in the college catalog.  After three unexcused absences, you will be asked to drop the course.

3)             Class preparation and participation are required and mandatory.  It is the only way I know that the  course objectives can be met.

                                4)             ANT 150 Human Sexuality - prerequisite.


ANT Major/GEP:                 This course meets the 400 Level course requirement for the major.  It fills the GEP mode SA and is an upper division elective.


Potsdam Honor Code:         "On My Honor:  I will not give nor receive any inappropriate assistance on any academic work in accordance with the SUNY Potsdam Academic Honor Code and the directions given to me by each course instructor."


Objectives:                            The anthropological perspectives of holism and relativism are the foundation of this course.  AIDS, a global health problem, effects the species at all levels of our being.  We are going to examine AIDS medically, biologically, culturally, economically, politically, and behaviorally.  We will apply these perspectives to specific groups as relevant.  We will be doing anthropology.

     The agenda for this course is to reach a cognitive understanding of AIDS which is internalized so that our attitudes and behaviors keep ourselves and others healthy and safe.

     This class will be conducted as a seminar.  This means that assigned readings are done so that class discussion of the readings can be held.  You are expected to come to class prepared to discuss, question, and apply the readings.  The topics are a guide and we will proceed through them at the group's pace.  Confidentiality and trust are integral parts of the course.  I will do what I can to create a safe, trusting environment in which each of us and the group can explore this phenomenon.  It is highly likely that we will not complete all the topics on the syllabus.  Adjustments will be made as necessary and class input will be sought.

As much as possible, I will try to bring in guest lecturers who have specific expertise in various fields of AIDS work.


NO CLASSES:                     Tuesday, 10/14/03;  Tuesday and Thursday, 11/25/03 and 11/27/03

PAPERS DUE:                      Tuesday, December 9, 2003



                I.              Intro to course

                II.            Confidentiality

                                                How to do a research paper

                III.           The Anthropological Perspective As it Applies to AIDS

                IV.           The Anthropology of Health and Illness

                V.            The Biology and Virology of AIDS

                VI.           The Epidemiology of AIDS

                VII.          Medical Aspects of AIDS

                VIII.        The Politics of AIDS

                IX.           The Economics of AIDS

                X.            Socio-psychological Dimensions of AIDS

                XI.           Women and AIDS

                XII.         AIDS and Risk Taking: Trust

                XIII.        AIDS and Sexuality

                XIV.        AIDS and Drugs

                XV.         HIV Test Issues

                XVI.        The Personal Dimension of AIDS

                XVII.       AIDS: Grieving and Loss

                XVIII. AIDS and Humanity: What we've been given.  Where we go.


Readings:                              Intro to course

                                                                Roth & Fuller: Intro

                                                                Stine:  Chapter 1 + 2

                                                The Anthropological Perspective as it Applies to AIDS

                                                                Vollmer Article (handout)

                                                The Biology & Virology of AIDS

                                                                Stine:   Chapter 3, 5

                                                                Guest Speaker: Dr. T. Budd, Biology Prof.,

                                                                St. Lawrence University

                                                The Epidemiology of AIDS

                                                                MMWR/CDC update

                                                                Stine:  Chapters 10, 11, 12

                                                                Video: "AIDS in Africa"

                                                Medical Aspects of AIDS

                                                                Fuller & Roth: Part II - all

                                                                Steinglass: “It Takes a Village Healer” OR

                                                                Stine:  Chapters 4, 6, 7

                                                                Video: "AIDS Beyond the Hospital;" "AIDS" (NOVA); "Living with HIV."

                                                The Politics of AIDS

                                                                Video:  "And The Band Played On"

                                                                Fuller & Roth: Part III - all

                                                                Stine:  Chapter 17

                                                                Scheper-Hughes (OR): Cuba

                                                                AARG Bulletin April 2001 OR           

                                                The Economics of AIDS

                                                                Stine: Chapter 16

                                                Socio-psychological Dimensions of AIDS

                                                                "The Wedding Gift"  (OR)

                                                                Video:     0"It's My Party"

                                                                                "Psychology of the HIV Caregiver"

                                                                Stine: Chapter 15

                                                Women and AIDS

                                                                Fuller & Roth : Part I - Chapter 1

                                                                Videos:   "Matter of the Heart"

                                                                                "My Body's My Business"

                                                AIDS & Risk Taking

                                                                Stine:  Chapter 8

                                                                Video: "NYSDH Safer Sex"

                                                AIDS & Sexuality

                                                                Fuller & Roth: Part I - Chpts. 2, 4, 5

                                                                Nevid:  HIV/STD (OR)

                                                                Stine:  Chapter 9

                                                AIDS & Drugs

                                                                Fuller & Roth: Part I - Chapter 3

                                                HIV Test Issues

                                                                Stine:  Chapter 13 and 14

                                                                NYS HIV Reporting Regs

                                                The Personal Dimension of AIDS

                                                                *Guest Lecturer:  Ms.  Ruth Garner

Grieving and Loss

                                                                Death Awareness Sheets

                                                AIDS and Humanity


VIDEOS:                1)             And The Band Played On

                                2 )            AIDS In Africa

                                3)             AIDS (NOVA)

                                4)             Living with HIV

                                5)             AIDS:  Beyond the Hospital

                                6)             Psychology of the HIV caregiver

                                7)             My Body's My Business

                                8)             NYSDH safer sex

                                9)             Matter of the Heart

                                10)           It's My Party