Seeing Disease and Identity in Relation to HIV/AIDS

Maniklal Bhanja


With this ethical objective, the above multiperspectival question of identity that the disease (HIV/AIDS) discourse has very fiercely raised will be examined. In the first two sections of this article, linguistic representation of HIV/AIDS through different “labels” that have been given to the virus and the metaphors have been discussed. The “impact” of such representation on the developing or finding of identity of the subject will be analyzed in the light of the third section’s apparently digressive but highly contextual discussion on the question of identity. Drawing from the Lacanian notion of the subject, it can be argued that “representation” such as disease labels and metaphors at the “psychological” level intensifies and makes manifest the “innate” sense of denial or shame in the mind of the diseased in regard to the acceptance of disease.

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