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Risky Rhetoric

Risky Rhetoric

AIDS and the Cultural Practices of HIV Testing

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J. Blake Scott


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
300 pages, 6 x 9, 12 illustrations


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About the Book

Risky Rhetoric: AIDS and the Cultural Practices of HIV Testing is the first book-length study of the rhetoric inherent in and surrounding HIV testing. In addition to providing a history of HIV testing in the United States from 1985 to the present, J. Blake Scott explains how faulty arguments about testing’s power and effects have promoted unresponsive and even dangerous testing practices for so-called healthy subjects as well as those deemed risky.A new afterword to the paperback edition discusses changes in testing technology, treatments, and public health responses in the last ten years. The ultimate goal of Risky Rhetoric is to offer strategies to policy makers, HIV educators and test counselors, and other rhetors for developing more responsive and egalitarian testing-related rhetorics and practices.


J. Blake Scott is a professor of writing and rhetoric at the University of Central Florida. He is coeditor of The Megarhetorics of Global Development.


“This book has much to offer its reader, both politically and academically.”—Rhetoric and Public Affairs

“[This] book reminds us that rhetoric is an optimistic enterprise, hopeful about the potential for positive change. Risky Rhetoric reflects this faith in the transformative power of the strategic use of language.”—Rhetoric Society Quarterly