China’s transition to a liberal market economy has often been the topic of much scholarly and popular discussion, given its wide-reaching impact on individuals, the environment, and global exchange. This project considers the effects of this transition through AIDS activism, a phenomenon that links the rise of consumer entitlements, the spread of contagious disease, and the influence of international public health and human rights in post-reform China. It does this by focusing on the emergence of politically engaged HIV-positive individuals, and the ways in which they are drawing from these recent discourses to reframe an epidemiological concern as a problem of human and legal rights. Twelve months of participant observation in Beijing and other China locations will allow the researcher to address the multi-directional interconnections between HIV/AIDS and human rights, two global forces that have transgressed China’s borders as indirect results of state economic policy, and how they have redefined the possibilities for disparate groups that have been drawn together by a virus. This research will bring law and medicine into the same field of inquiry, and examine how these two overlapping and yet often contradictory regimes of expertise come together as civil society groups engage in processes of professionalization.