One of the most relevant social problems in contemporary American life is the continuing HIV epidemic in the Black population. With vivid ethnographic detail, this book brings together scholarship on the structural dimensions of the AIDS epidemic and the social construction of sexuality to assert that shifting forms of sexual stories—structural intimacies—are emerging, produced by the meeting of intimate lives and social structural patterns. These stories render such inequalities as racism, poverty, gender power disparities, sexual stigma, and discrimination as central not just to the dramatic, disproportionate spread of HIV in Black communities in the United States, but to the formation of Black sexualities.
Sonja Mackenzie elegantly argues that structural vulnerability is felt—quite literally—in the blood, in the possibilities and constraints on sexual lives, and in the rhetorics of their telling. The circulation of structural intimacies in daily life and in the political domain reflects possibilities for seeking what Mackenzie calls intimate justice at the nexus of cultural, economic, political, and moral spheres. Structural Intimacies presents a compelling case: in an era of deepening medicalization of HIV/AIDS, public health must move beyond individual-level interventions to community-level health equity frames and policy changes