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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access March 4, 2021

Becoming MSM: Sexual Minorities and Public Health Regimes in Vietnam

Alfred Montoya


This article explores the discursive and practical marking of male sexual minorities in Vietnam, as targets of a series of biopolitical regimes whose aim, ostensibly, was and is to secure the health and wellbeing of the population (from the French colonial period to the present), regimes which linked biology, technoscientific intervention and normative sexuality in the service of state power. Campaigns against sex workers, drug users, and briefly male sexual minorities, seriously exacerbated the marginalization and stigmatization of these groups, particularly with the emergence of HIV/AIDS in Vietnam in 1990. This article also considers how the contemporary apparatus constructed to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic, one funded by the US, did not do away with these old forms, but reinscribed them with new language within a new regime that prioritizes quantification and technoscience.


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Received: 2020-05-28
Accepted: 2021-01-28
Published Online: 2021-03-04

© 2020 Alfred Montoya, published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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