n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Epidemiological criminology : a critical cross-cultural analysis of the advent of HIV / AIDS

Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Despite vast geo-political disparities between South Africa and the United States social justice, economic and health problems transcend distance and borders. Problems and solutions associated with HIV / AIDS also go beyond geo-political, agency and theoretical boundaries. For example, HIV / AIDS is more commonly dealt with by public health agencies than criminal justice agencies. This paper merges the two disciplines, public health and criminal justice, into a new paradigm called Epidemiological Criminology ("EpiCrim"). To illustrate the utility of EpiCrim, the author uses critical Marxist theory (often applied in criminal justice but rarely in public health) to provide an explanatory framework for better understanding the genesis of the HIV / AIDS epidemic. Specifically, the apathy displayed at the early onset of the HIV / AIDS epidemic is indicative of the oppression of deviant subgroups (the poor, gays, disempowered and disenfranchised people) predicted by critical criminology. It is the contention of this paper that had HIV / AIDS been confined within "mainstream" American and South African populations at its onset, substantial funding and widespread support would have been made immediately available, greatly reducing the current number of cases and deaths.

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