The analysis demonstrates the contribution of anthropology as an interpretative social science, and the use of anthropological theory and research methods, to finding alternative ways of framing the problems of Thai AIDS and of posing new questions that will lead to more effective points of intervention. It emphasises the necessity for critically reflexive approaches that question the 'taken for granted' and demonstrates how qualitative research techniques guided by social theory have the potential to take account of local meanings in complex social contexts where traditional values and cultural practices are rapidly transforming due to economic and social change. The book offers a sustained and powerful criticism of the limitations of the normative model of the Thai AIDS epidemic and, in its aim of promoting critically reflexive AIDS research techniques in order to produce a better understanding of issues 'on the ground' and hence better health policy and more effective AIDS interventions, speaks not only to the Thai AIDS epidemic but to AIDS epidemics throughout Southeast Asia and elsewhere.
This is the only English language study of Thailand's HIV/AIDS epidemic to draw on long-term qualitative research in Northern Thailand as well as on a broad range of Thai (and some Khmer language) materials. Its contextualised and subtly nuanced analysis of the AIDS epidemic and of the impact of AIDS control initiatives, in concert with the theoretical and methodological contributions it makes to AIDS research and policy and behavioural interventions, makes it a timely publication of vital interest to scholars in the social sciences, as well as to the members of non-governmental organisations and international organisations working in the HIV/AIDS, health and development fields.