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Reading: Migrants and the Emerging HIV Epidemic in Finland in the 1980s and the 1990s

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Migrants and the Emerging HIV Epidemic in Finland in the 1980s and the 1990s

Author:

Kris Clarke

California State University Fresno, Department of Social Work Education, 5310 North Campus Drive M/S PHS 107, Fresno, California 93740-8019, US
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Abstract

This article examines how migrants were narrated in the emerging HIV epidemic in Finland. The article argues that the stigma of HIV and foreignness/ otherness in Finnish society intersected in complex ways to exclude migrants in many areas of public and private life during the first decades of the epidemic, though the situation has improved today. The article explores how HIV infection is embedded in existing criminal law and public health policies generally, and specifically in the Finnish context. Using an analysis of newspaper, academic, and policy texts based on a systematic review of all extant material in Finnish libraries, the article traces the genealogy of how HIV was initially conceived as a non-Finnish disease of un-masculine men or foreigners and transformed into a human rights issue under a policy of AIDS exceptionalism. Despite the shift in Finnish public health policy toward AIDS exceptionalism, public health policy tended to be expert-oriented, which often excluded migrant communities from participating in interventions as stakeholders.

How to Cite: Clarke, K., 2011. Migrants and the Emerging HIV Epidemic in Finland in the 1980s and the 1990s. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 1(3), pp.137–145. DOI: http://doi.org/10.2478/v10202-011-0016-y
Published on 01 Dec 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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