You are here

Occupational Hazards: Sex, Business, and HIV in Post-Mao China with Elanah Uretsky

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies hosts a book talk with Elanah Uretsky on her new book following the health risks of business networking in China.

March 24, 2016 12:30pm to 1:45pm

Copies of Professor Uretsky's new book, Occupational Hazards, will be available for purchase.


Doing business in China can be hazardous to your health. Occupational Hazards follows a group of Chinese businessmen and government officials as they conduct business in Beijing and western Yunnan Province, exposing webs of informal networks that help businessmen access political favors. These networks are built over liquor, cigarettes, food, and sex, turning risky behaviors into occupational hazards. Elanah Uretsky's ethnography follows these powerful men and their vulnerabilities to China's burgeoning epidemics of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS. Examining the relationship between elite masculine networking practices and vulnerability to HIV infection, Occupational Hazards includes the stories of countless government officials and businessmen who regularly visit commercial sex workers but resist HIV testing for fear of threatening their economic and political status.

Elanah Uretsky is Assistant Professor of Global Health, Anthropology and International Affairs at GW. Professor Uretsky is the liaison between the Elliott School and the Department of Global Health in the Milken Institute School of Public Health and directs the dual M.A./M.P.H. program. She is also a Public Intellectual Fellow with the National Committee on US China Relations. As a medical anthropologist, her interests lie at the nexus of gender, sexuality, governance and disease in China. She has conducted extensive ethnographic research on China's HIV epidemic examining how networking practices among the wealthy businessmen and government officials fueling China's economic rise have also governed the rise, development, and administration of the epidemic. Professor Uretsky earned a Ph.D. from Colombia University.

Phone Number: