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Challenge & Innovation by Mary Boulton

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Chapter 7

How Many Prostitutes? Epidemiology out of Ethnography

Neil McKeganey, Marina Barnard and Michael Bloor

The language of AIDS is a discourse overflowing with statistics. We have statistics on those who are HIV-positive, those who have AIDS, those who have died, and those who are at risk. We have statistics by age, by transmission category, by gender, by geographical place of residence, and—in the case of prostitutes, by occupation. Statistics, of course, can be strangely comforting in a context where so much is uncertain. To quote an HIV prevalence figure for a particular group gives us the impression of a minor victory against the disease—we may not be able to control it, or cure it, but we can at least measure it. And that, in the context ...

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