Barnett, Tong and Alan Whiteside. “Chapter 14: Globalization, Inequality, Hiv/Aids and the Intimacies of Self.” Aids in the Twenty-First Century: Disease and Globalization. New York: Palgrave, 2002. 347-365.

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In Barnett and Whiteside’s essay, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is examined in relation to the rapid globalization and growing inequality around the world. While many people tend to think that globalization is benefiting the world by its many components, such as better communication, more sharing of ideas and information, and better distribution of goods and services to enhance our global economy, Barnett and Whiteside contend that “globalization is not about markets and economics alone” (353). It is about how globalization has affected our values and views of the world in which we all share since the medieval time, and that these values and views are urged to be changed due to our growing individualism (Barnett and Whiteside, 348). Because of our increasingly excessive individualism, Barnett and Whiteside, in their major argument, calls for the emergency of global health care and “a change in consciousness” on recognizing health and well-being as global issues. According to them, if we do not enable our ‘blinkers of individualization’ to drop off, our world will not develop into one where everyone shares our common health and welfare (364). Barnett and Whiteside remind us that HIV/AIDS is a global epidemic of which we have been commonly conscious for the first time in history. Thus, they stress on the emergency of global public health as a basis to construct their argument. The issue is that people nowadays only view health and well-being in the context of themselves and within their own community, but Barnett and Whiteside argue that “health and well-being are not individual concerns, they are global issues” (347). Our approach to disease has changed dramatically since the medieval time. In the past, diseases were contained by brave scientists from the rich worlds who were committed and courageous. However, the problem now lies in the fact that the process of containing diseases is now done in the interests of the rich, “which has an air of charity about it”...
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