On Wednesday, April 13 I will be speaking at Grand Valley State University exploring the inherent bias underlying HIV prevention messages, constructions and efforts since the beginning of the epidemic. This exploration will also explore the role of the early Progressive Movement as the influence of such prevention efforts as well as STI control efforts pre-World War I.

My basic thesis on this is that a confluence of the early Progressive Movement, which was a direct Protestant driven movement; the Christian Right in the 1980s, and a fear of homosexuality has continued to drive HIV prevention funding, themes and ideas from a blame construct rather than actual prevention. The result is a system rigged to allow more infections, place criminal and civil liabilities and social restrictions on people living with HIV, particularly those who are gay or transgender.

The speech will be held at Honors 220 on the Allendale Campus at 6:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

As a bonus, my friend Trevor Hoppe, who is now an associate professor of sociology at SUNY-Albnay, will also be on campus that same day speaking at 3 p.m. at 114 Lake Michigan Hall, also on the Allendale Campus.  His lecture is titled “Punishing Disease: HIV and the Criminalizing of Sickness.” I’ve worked with Trevor for several years now and he’s a top rate researcher and quite an entertaining presenter. He was on Michigan Public Radio’s Stateside program on Tuesday discussing the Corey Rangel case in Cass County.

We both hope we get to see you all on Wednesday April 13 at Grand Valley State University!