Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X
FRY, Peter H. et al. Does AIDS have a race or color? Data interpretation and health policymaking in Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.23, n.3, pp.497-507. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2007000300002.
Over the last few years we have observed a growing emphasis on a supposed relationship between the AIDS epidemic and the "black population" in Brazil. After undertaking an analysis of the national data base of HIV/AIDS in Brazil, this study examines the sociopolitical context in which public policy with a focus on "race" has been defined. We argue that questions related to the quality of the data, the structuring of the information system itself and the use and interpretation of this information are all essential elements for understanding the process underway. Specifically we aim to show that the available epidemiological data are not sufficient to warrant the interpretation that there is in fact a relationship between the "black population" and AIDS in the country. We stress that the emphasis on this supposed association is part of a more general process of construction of the field of the "health of the black population" in recent years and that this is related to interrelationships between political activism and the State which go far beyond the field of health.
Keywords : Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Public Policies; Racism.