Hasan Tankut Atuk

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Minnesota, Minneapolis-St.Paul, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10092

Approve Date

April 8, 2021

Project Title

Atuk, Hasan (Minnesota, Minneapolis-St.Paul, U. of) "Paradoxes of Care: Abandonment, Patient Activism, and Regimes of HIV Care in Turkey"

Care is ambivalent, elusive, and contradictory. It produces abandonment and harm, but also gives rise to alternative forms of belonging and carefulness. Turkey is experiencing one of the world’s fastest-growing HIV epidemics: the number of HIV diagnoses has increased by 620% since 2007. Turkish HIV prevention and treatment, however, have become empty gestures of care that leave marginalized communities vulnerable to HIV and deny them rightful treatment. HIV prevention is imagined in terms of monogamy and it only targets heterosexual married couples. HIV+ citizens, on the other hand, experience discrimination and disregard within spaces of medical care. As a result, HIV+ gay men and trans sex workers reclaim HIV care and become activists to protect their communities and slow down the epidemic. This research explores the paradoxes of HIV care in Turkey by asking two principal questions: How do regimes of HIV care negotiate the double meaning of HIV as a moral and as a public health problem? And, how do queer activists imagine and enact community-based HIV care? This research will contribute to anthropology by developing a new conceptualization of care and patient activism at the intersection of Islam, neoliberalism, HIV, and queerness.