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University of Botswana English Department
Language, Literature and the Discourse of HIV/AIDS in Africa
University of Botswana English Department, 2002


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Kierkegaardian Pointer on Communication for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS

Gideon de Wet and Colin Tinei Chasi

Through a Kierkegaardian-existentialist influence, this paper seeks to problematise communication on HIV/AIDS, with special emphasis on the South African context. Upon achievement of this task, the paper will then point to possibilities for the communication for the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Pragmatic communication has been cast as the agent to bring changes in behaviours, which will prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. From the perspective of pragmatics, “The ultimate goal of the communicator is to alter his hearer’s thoughts, and that is why he engages in communication at all.” (Tanaka, 1194:18.) And this is assumed to be possible through direct communication of “thoughts” or “mental representations” of the need for such actions. It is assumed that this knowledge will ultimately bring changes in behaviour to prevent the further spreading of HIV/AIDS. It is in this context that campaigns for HIV/AIDS prevention are accompanied by slogans such as Love Life’s “Let’s talk about it”.

The problem identified in this paper is neatly summed in asking: Why have pragmatic communication based interventions not worked, in South Africa, to promote the reduction of behaviours which increase the chances of the spread of HIV/AIDS? Can a critically complemented existentialist approach to HIV/AIDS communication serve as an alternative, theory-based guideline for communication strategies, which may possibly overcome the limited success of the pragmatic communication based interventions to induce individuals to act responsibly in high-risk contexts?

But as Sontag (1989) has shown, HIV/AIDS does not exist for the individual as a virus, to the stead, it can be understood as a metaphor. The meaning of a metaphor as with any other sign is not imbedded in its nature. As theorists of the social construction of meaning have shown, among other influences, history and the community’s experiences of a phenomenon impinge upon the construction of the meaning of metaphors and signs. This is a necessary element development from the intersubjective demands of language and hence of communication.

Through a Kierkegaardian-existentialist approach, this paper will critique and thence point to communication possibilities for the existential dilemma that HIV presents.

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A Phenomenological Study for the HIV/AIDS Communication Dilemma

Gideon de Wet and Colin Tinei Chasi

A phenomenological look is presented in order to illustrate the existential phenomenon of the dilemma of HIV/AIDS. It is argued that current approaches do not recognise HIV/AIDS as an existential phenomenon and hence messages on HIV/AIDS do not aim to address the existential dilemma of the aesthetic Black people of South Africa.

HIV/AIDS is arguably the most terrible epidemic in recorded history and communication for prevention is the most important instrument that is available to halt the pandemic. The masses have universally gained awareness of HIV/AIDS and how it must be prevented. Yet the pandemic continues to grow.

The focus of this paper is on the Ikageng township community of Potchefstroom. Issues related to high-risk HIV/AIDS behaviours are seen from the Kierkegaardian-existentialist approach as symptomatic of individual existential dilemmas of the historical being.

The research, on which this paper is based, critiques current communication on HIV/AIDS. It is emphasised that life and death issues cannot be conceptualised and communicated in the same way as selling the image and products of a toothpaste manufacturing company.

While phenomenological interviews can never appeal to generalisation on the basis of statistical representativity to the general population. They can, however, appeal for acceptance as valid and reliable pictures of reality on the basis that they correspond largely to the picture presented by theory, and also on the basis that readers can most comfortably agree with the findings.

A single paragraph summary of the arguments put forward is that: Kierkegaardian-existentialist thought has identified the individual in freedom as the maker of choices of high-risk HIV/AIDS behaviours. Yet choice and freedom are also related to the contingent context that the individual meets. All living and hence all reality is meeting. The being in choice and freedom subjectively takes ownership of his or her reality. In facing the world the being first faces dread of this reality. Then in choice and freedom the being is able to be in despair. In the time of HIV/AIDS despair results from seeing the possibilities of “death”, “stigmatisation” and “depression” related to HIV/AIDS. It is only by being in despair and increasing despair that the individual can truly live with HIV/AIDS or with any other truth. Being is becoming. But the being is able, in bad faith, to be unauthentic. Through choice and freedom the being can deny reality and ethics and be the aesthetic. This aesthetic through the communication of behaviour can be seen to ignore the true dangers of HIV/AIDS and to engage in high-risk behaviours. The aesthetic even takes HIV/AIDS to be a joke. Further, the aesthetic also ignores ethical guidelines in refusing to use condoms and is seen to even go as far as to rape and deliberately spread HIV/AIDS. In the face of HIV/AIDS the being can deny that existence precedes essence. The being can blame the context and claim to be just a spoke in the wheel. It is in this context that the Kierkegaardian indirect method of communication becomes particularly important and where pragmatic communication is deemed to be failing in that it is unable to address the existential being.

Still, ironically, throughout the text there is hope that the being finds success in trying; that being is becoming. Resting on failed communication strategies and possibilities is not good enough. Current communication strategies in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic go against the existential grain of being. If this existential crisis is not faced, it seems inevitable that future dangers will cause as much death and destruction as the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

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Response of the Corporate Sector to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: The Case of Botswana

Lengwe-Katembula J. Mwansa

The study sought to investigate responses of the corporate sector in Botswana to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, during 2000-2001. The study revealed that a significant number of people in the workplace are aware of HIV/AIDS. Varying degrees of knowledge on HIV/AIDS were indicated with 60% of the respondents showing very high knowledge, 36% had an average amount of knowledge and only 4% reported very little knowledge.

Although 64% of those interviewed claimed that their organisations have policies on HIV/AIDS, very few places of employment in fact have such policies. Despite the lack of policy on HIV/AIDS however, several companies have adopted some form of prevention programme with the majority (70%) largely focusing on awareness campaigns. However, a majority of companies lacked condom distribution programmes, HIV/AIDS co-ordinators, HIV/AIDS committee and peer education in the workplace. 76% of the respondents indicated that their organisations co-operated with other organisations in information, campaigns and programme design. From the evidence indicated above, most organisations need to develop and, in some cases, strengthen policies and programmes to stem HIV/AIDS in the workplace. Unless HIV/AIDS activities are mainstreamed into organisational structures, the corporate sector will not be effectively involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS and thereby fail to make major contributions to the multi-sectoral effort.

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Using Adult Education Theoretical and Pedagogical Perspectives in HIV/AIDS Prevention Strategies

Dr Julia Preece and Dr Gabo Ntseane

This paper will report on an action research project that is investigating how to develop new HIV/AIDS Information, Education and Communication (IEC) strategies in the workplace. The project is based on two principles: i) that IEC strategies need to take account of adult education theory that promotes the active involvement of learners in developing their own curriculum; and ii) that an Africa-centric gender perspective should be incorporated into future IEC material. That is, the particular cultural position of women and associated discourses of HIV/AIDS need to be theorised as an issue of power. The lack of attention to adult education principles is identified as a missing ingredient in the way current IEC messages about HIV/AIDS in Botswana are being transmitted. The dominant theoretical approaches for critical thinking and perspective transformation, however, are critiqued for their Eurocentric bias. The recommended pedagogical strategies are identified as embedded in predominantly black, feminist literature because they enable a more appropriate forum for addressing the complexities of this particular African context. Integrated with these issues is the argument that IEC should incorporate a drama and oral communication strategy; one that builds on traditional communication and attitudes to HI/AIDS in the African context. The paper critiques some of the adult education and feminist arguments for empowerment that do not take account of existing male power positions within the Botswana social framework. It argues for a dual strategy towards behavioural change; one that takes account of the current health crisis, but also one which uses a radical pedagogical approach that engages with ‘where people are at’.

The research has been in two phases. The first phase entailed interviews with managers and focus group meetings with workers to obtain up to date information on current IEC activities and to record attitudes and issues among Batswana regarding HIV/AIDS prevention. We conducted the study with a total of 29 employers and 14 employee focus groups, each containing 10 people with equal numbers of men and women. We visited five locations across Botswana: two urban areas (Gaborone and Francistown) and three large villages (Serowe, Bobonong and Maun). We collected copies of existing IEC materials used in each company and visited the main HIV testing centre for further material. A purposive sampling approach was taken in selecting the employers. That is, both large national chain stores plus smaller businesses were contacted. Whilst employers were asked to complete a questionnaire for statistical and general background information, the study was primarily qualitative in nature. We decided to use a focus group approach in talking to employees because we wanted to adopt adult education principles for the research process, since the findings would provide the content for our IEC materials. The research is now in it second phase - that of trialling IEC materials which utilise the discourses and gender power dynamics that were revealed in the first, data collection phase of the project. The paper will report on the results of these trials and present an analysis of the overall findings.

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AIDS and Black Bodies: Towards Critical Humanist Interpretations of Epidemic

Wende Elizabeth Marshall

The proposed paper will examine western originating scientific and popular discourses of HIV/AIDS and Black bodies-African, as well as African American bodies. Because, if there is anything that now links the African diaspora, it is perhaps a set of peculiar Western discourses about the morbidity and mortality of black bodies. In the U. S., this discourse revolves around the susceptibility of African Americans to a host of chronic and infectious diseases, as well as accidents, suicide and homicide, which are perceived as the cause of shortened life spans, and a hyper-morbidity which taxes the medical system by increasing the burden of providing care to the poor. About Sub-Saharan Africa, a Western originating discourse focuses primarily on epidemics of infectious diseases.

In recent years HIV and AIDS has dominated these biomedical and scientific discourses. From the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control, to international agencies like the World Health Organization, there is a particularly garrulous discourse about the tragic pathology of black bodies and the human-immuno-deficiency virus harbored therein. While this discursive explosion derives from academic and other official sources of knowledge production, it escapes those boundaries and circulates through the popular media. Based on a biomedical epistemology of the body, and notions of pathobiology, and cast in the already raced “biopolitical”(1) metaphors of science, these discourses map onto earlier narratives about the sociocultural pathology of communities of Africans and their descendants.

In the United States, scientific and biomedical discourses on AIDS resonate with the sometimes “scientific” discourses about the tangled sociocultural (read “racial”) pathology of Black women’s reproduction and the welfare state (see Lubiano 1992; Roberts, 1999). In African nations, the discourse on HIV and AIDS also maps onto earlier narratives about the degraded and dysfunctional nature/culture of Africans(2). Indeed, all of the tropes deployed in Western writing for Blackness (see Morrison 1993)-images of darkness, danger, and primordial chaos-are often present in popular articles about the affect of HIV on the continent. Despite the scientific jargon, these narratives invoke images of savagery, of humans living in a state of nature, and of survival of the fittest.


1 Gloria A. Marshall, 1993, “Racial Classifications: Popular and Scientific,” in Sandra Harding, ed., The Racial Economy of Science: Toward a Democratic Future, Bloomington: University of Indiana Press: 125.

2 Comaroff (1993), writing about medicine and colonialism in Africa, argued that expanding European empires in Africa helped the new biological sciences by providing “raw material” … “[A]s an object of European speculation, ‘Africans’ personified suffering and degeneracy, their environment a hothouse of fever and affliction.” Jean Comaroff, 1993, “The Diseased Heart of Africa: Medicine, Colonialism, and the Black Body,” in Shirley Lindenbaum and Margaret Lock, eds. Knowledge, Power & Practice: The Anthropology of Medicine and Everyday Life, Berkeley: University of California Press: 305.

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AIDS and the Creative Imagination in Niger

Debra S. Boyd

African theater dispenses a "griotique function" to quote the late Ivoirien playwright Porquet. It consists of staging the realities of daily life in order to create a microcosm of human society. Situated in the heart of West Africa, Niger is at the crossroads where Arab and Berber Africa meets its sub-Saharan brothers and sisters. It is an intersection of civilizations where black populations, white ethnic groups, Muslims, Christians, and disciples of traditional beliefs share geographical, political and cultural space. A long tradition of communal life and exchange between these peoples has resulted in a true cultural richness formed from ethnic diversity. This can be seen in the variety of cultural and artistic manifestations that one encounters in Niger today.

Francophone Nigerien literature is not well known. However, Niger can boast of a significant body of literary works both oral and written. This is particularly true for theater. Nigerien theater dates back as far as the oldest African civilizations and is an extraordinarily vital force on the country's cultural scene. During and after the colonial era, theater was used to propagate historical themes in order to educate the population, to encourage pride and to affirm a national identity. Playwrights still employ the genre to address contemporary problems.

Inasmuch as theater is one of Niger's most vibrant cultural activities, it is not surprising that government authorities appreciate the role that theater and other forms of visual production can play in the battle against the spread of the AIDS virus. It is social intervention theater that is a pedagogical tool of nation development in Niger and in other Sahelian countries for example: Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad. While the theater house is perceived by the public as a place to abandon oneself to relaxation, laughter, and a good time, those in power realize that theater can be a means to transmit a political message. Certain theater companies manage to satisfy both the people and the political authorities.

The objective of our work will be to examine the role of theater plays in the Nigerien battle against the AIDS virus and the way in which the AIDS menace has influenced literary production in Niger. Among the texts to be examined are: two plays by Army Captain Dr. Kadri Mounkaila Sakoira: "Liaisons Fatales" et "SIDA cette guerre n'est pas conventionnelle"; "Bigari," a play in Hausa, composed for the PNLS (Programme National de Lutte Contre le SIDA/ National Anti-AIDS Program); and poems and short stories from the Club des Amis du Livre (Friends of the Book Club) in Zinder. The organization sponsored a poetry contest with AIDS as its theme.

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AIDS Fiction in Africa

Nobantu Rasebotsa

Finding Literary texts about AIDS in African countries has been quite revealing. Most of what is available has been written by less known writers and falls in the category of 'popular' literature. Meja Mwangi and Marjorie MacGoye, for example, are so far the only known writers among several 'less known' or first time published writers who are grappling with the issues surrounding AIDS. The research objectives are, first, to acknowledge the condition in which this 'new' literature is born and second,to promote and ensure its survival as a 'type' of literature . The aim therefore is to establish that AIDS fiction in Africa, whether of the populist kind or not, has it's own artistic and cultural value. Examples my paper focuses on are Carollyn Adalla's Confessions of an AIDS victim, Patrice Matchaba's Deadly Profit and Meja Mwangi's The Last Plague .

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Effective HIV/AIDS Communication Planning: A Case Study of a HIV/AIDS Awareness Campaign Targeted at Young Adults at the ML Sultan Technikon.

Veena Rawjee

This paper explores various theoretical approaches to communication planning in an attempt to identify a model appropriate for developing an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign. In doing so it demonstrates the limitations of the various theoretical approaches and affirms the need for the re-articulation and further development of these theories into one of a more participatory nature. It does so by suggesting how one such theory, the social marketing theory, can be enhanced by underpinning it with Paulo Freire’s theory of ‘dialogue and praxis’. The effectiveness of these suggestions are demonstrated by analysing an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign at the ML Sultan Technikon in Kwa Zulu Natal.

It is important that in public health campaigns, like commercial advertising campaigns and public relations campaigns, communication is planned. Effective communication planning and management of public health campaigns adds to the success of the campaign. An understanding of the various theoretical approaches to communication planning serves as a foundation for understanding how the communication process develops and occurs. By in addition, understanding and identifying the limitations to these approaches further enhances the success of communication campaigns. “One of the shortcomings of communication campaigns is that, in practice, campaigns generally unfold according to a linear model. Critics hold this characteristic responsible for the failure of many campaigns” (Windahl, Signitzer & Olson 1992: 101). It is therefore important to examine and critique the theoretical approaches to communication planning so that it does not unfold into a linear model.

The ‘social marketing approach’ to communication planning is borrowed from the marketing discourse. Philip Kotler, (1986) a marketing scholar, introduced the idea of marketing not only to commercial transactions but also to non-commercial transactions. The concept ‘social marketing’ is therefore a generic concept of marketing applied to non-commercial transactions such as development, social change, education etc. Social marketing therefore describes:

the use of marketing principles and techniques to advance a social cause, idea or behaviour. More specifically: social marketing is the design, implementation and control of programmes seeking to increase the acceptability of a social idea or cause in target group (s). It utilizes concepts of marketing segmentation, consumer research, concept development, communication facilitation, incentives and exchange theory to maximize target group response (Kotler 1982: 490).

The five essential components of social marketing are product, price, promotion, place and positioning - the 4 P’s. Compared to commercial marketing, social marketing usually operates in less profitable markets, such as health and fund raising campaigns. The social marketing approach to communication planning is a top-down theory and unfolds according to a linear model. This study therefore proposes a more participatory approach to communication planning. It suggests that communication planning approaches be enhanced by reframing it within Paulo Freire’s theory of ‘dialogue and praxis’

Paulo Freire’s (1972) writings on the Pedagogy of the oppressed is based on the shift of the power process from the teacher to the student in a classroom situation. This idea is then used in communication theory which “overtly signifies an altered power relationship, not only in the classroom but in the broader social canvas as well” (Aronowitz 1993). Similarly this altered power relationship is applied to communication planning.

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Arts in Action

Wendy Ross

Artists working within the realm of the public sphere have the power to create an awareness of social issues that are both more potent in their immediacy and accessible in their visual imagery. In addition, when these works are place within the public realm, they no longer exclude the general public but become the property of that public and as such, are more readily accepted. Art ahs the power to transcend barriers, creating dynamic and vibrant environments for cultural and social change.

John Coplans states that

the artist could become a functional worker within society, changing

the socio-economic basis of art by restoring it to an everyday function

within society and making an art that restored to the common man his

sense of place in the world.

Art is human creativity in a social context. Art is culture and it is action. The creative act, whether in them making or in the claiming through participation, or appreciation of the artwork, is the result of an inherent desire in people to keep in touch with the world and themselves through a personal interpretation of, or response to, the things around them.

People have a need not only for a physical healthy existence but also for mental and spiritual health within our environment as well as “impelo” or life - the “plenitude of being”. This kind of quality of life can only be achieved within a quality environment both physically and psychologically. Art can play a role in achieving this.

This paper will deal with two aspects:

oArtists who work within the realm of social activism

oThe presentation of community art projects from Sharpeville and Etwatwa in Gauteng (S.A.) and Embrocraft/Craftaid in Kwazulu Natal dealing with poverty, the environment and HIV/AIDS.

The paper will look at ways in which art can play an active role in not only creating awareness but in providing opportunities for people to confront issues through self-expression and sharing.

To complement the above proposal, it is proposed to present a group exhibition or artworks dealing with HIV/AIDS, poverty and abuse. This will include artists from around S.A. as well as arts and crafts from crafters, students and various communities.

One of the community projects being run in Sharpeville and Etwatwa is a sewing program in which women are sewing shopping bags with the aim of creating awareness of the “rights of children” and HIV/AIDS.

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The Assessment of Information Education Communication (IEC) Materials of HIV/AIDS

Amira Y Badri

This paper is aiming to examine and to analyse the existing IEC materials prepared and used for and by the Sudanese communities for raising awareness and changing behaviour in respect of HIV/AIDS. The paper will show the gap in the IEC in terms of knowledge, skills, practices, and behavioural change and how the materials could be improved and strengthened so as to meet the needs and to achieve the overall goals.

Wide range of materials are prepared in different forms including, pamphlets, video-films, cards, posters, flip charts, cassettes recorders, booklets, training manuals, guideline books, and newsletters.

Generally the materials could be classified according to the contents of the message. Also, it is possible for the categorization to be based on types of media through which the message is delivered. Recent materials reflect that the messages are addressed to four different categories of population:

·The carrier of HIV

·The patients of AIDS

·The normal population

·The health practitioners (health workers, midwife, health visitor, nurse, physician…etc).

The major purposes for preparing the materials were to raise awareness of the whole population and to assist them in the process of prevention, management and controlling of the disease. Thus the messages are provoking to change attitudes and behaviour of youth and adults, particularly males, for improving and bettering their sexual life/practices.

In reviewing the available IEC materials, it is noticed that the major issues were thoroughly addressed. This includes:

a.About HIV/AIDS and its prevalence


c.Causes of AIDS

d.Diagnosis of AIDS

e.Prevention of HIV/AIDS

f.Management and counseling of AIDS patients

Some materials are specifically dealt within the management and counseling of the AIDS patients. This helps the family members to understand how easily they could interact with the cases of HIV/AIDS. In some materials the mechanism of management and counseling of the patients and the affected people, and how they could cope and adapt to the situation that encourage them to melt within the society are well demonstrated. However, a few IEC materials were produced to tell about the treatments of AIDS and how patients might seek most safe treatment. Also, there is a lack of information that shows the dimensions of HIV/AIDS and the economic progress of the nations. As well as, the cost of treatment and prevention versus the participation of manpower and their contribution in economic development has not been tackled. In addition, a few IEC reflect upon the position of children of HIV/AIDS parents.

More investigations and studies need to be carried out to examine the dimensions and implications of HIV/AIDS among women and children. Also, similar attention must be drawn to show the direct relationship between AIDS and development. That is to develop a wide vision of how the process of economic production and social well-being will be embarked as a result of AIDS. Moreover, clear correlation should be established between the fact that infection with the HIV is more likely among those vulnerable groups, including the poor, TB patients, and the malnourished.

Therefore, further IEC materials should be produced on the basis of scientific studies and thorough pre-testing in order to enhance the effectiveness and efficiencies of the materials and consequently the impact on the community. Hence the materials should not only increase the scope of the problem, but also to improve actions for minimizing and controlling the infection, as well as, to eliminate the factors that lead to the infections.

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Boalian Theatre and AIDS in the United States

Dr. Cecilia Pang and Dr. Louise Bourgault

The paper reviews a series of attempts to introduce theatre for social change surrounding the issue of AIDS in an isolated rural Michigan community in the United States. The paper examines the methodological considerations involved in the creation of storylines for three different performance events and the workshops that led up to them. It considers the technical aspects of these productions and it analyzes audience responses to the plays.

Concluding that Boalian techniques work well in this American context, the papers proposes ways to make the sub-genre an even more effective tool for raising awareness of the dangers of AIDS and encouraging communities to become AIDS activists.

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Condoms and Crosses: Sexual and Religious Narratives in Contemporary Kinshasa Art.

Ruth Kerkham

Twentieth Century Kinshasa painting often combines images and text in an almost comic book style where words play a narrative role that is deceptively easy to read. Due to the repression of certain topics within the political as well as the social realm, words and images playfully substitute various meanings for each other, and their multi-layered messages are often cloaked in seemingly straightforward moralistic and didactic terms. Far from simple, however, these layers explore sexuality and its complex relationship to issues of health and disease, often within the framework of the religious dichotomy of “good” and “evil”.

In this paper I will consider the works of Cheri Samba, Cheik Ledy and Vuza Ntoko, looking particularly at their portrayals of religion and sexuality and the role of condoms within this narrative. Cheri Samba, the most well known of the Kinshasa painters, is referred to as a moralist, a humorist and a teacher who is willing to teach just about anybody whom he declares in need of a lesson, including the French. His work is incisively witty with a mischievously erotic overtone, and yet the underlying assertions are profoundly solemn, thus capturing the tensions between the spoken and the silenced, the tolerated and the forbidden. Protection, for Samba, is both physical and spiritual and he often portrays himself under the wings of an angel as he clutches the Bible in an effort to resist the temptation of “La Siren” or “Mami Wata”. I will examine Samba’s use of Christian morality and a discourse of guilt within these paintings and will explore how a moralistic tenor within society has shaped attitudes towards protection against HIV/AIDS.

Looking specifically at the portrayal of condoms and accompanying myths I will compare Samba’s painting “Used Condoms” to Ledy’s two works, “Let’s Not Be Afraid to Buy Condoms” and “Source of AIDS”. While Samba and Ledy deal with religious morality in relation to sexual attitudes, Ntoko takes the viewer a step further where an AIDS patient lies in a hospital bed surrounded by praying priests and mourning family. In this image the Christian crosses worn and held up by the priests resonate with the Red Cross signs on the hospital wall, demonstrating the inception of a religious narrative with issues of health. The sign on the hospital wall “SILENCE s.v.p.” echoes many attitudes towards condoms and sex, and I will show in this paper how Samba, Ledy and Ntoko both reflect and break this silence.

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Constructions of Masculinity in Traditional African Culture and in Western Popular Culture: Self Imagination of the African Male and the Fight Against AIDS.

Peter Mwikisa

Writing in the South African popular magazine DRUM, one Dr Lucky Mazibuko, an AIDS activist who has lived with AIDS for the past eight years, accepts full responsibility for his condition and does not blame the girl whom he believes infected him with the deadly disease. “I obviously became infected with AIDS because I led a promiscuous life,” he explains. From the standpoint of the paper herewith proposed what is interesting about Dr Mazibuko’s statement is that he attributes his erstwhile promiscuous life style to the influence of traditional African values. “Traditionally,” he says, “boys are encouraged to have a string of girlfriends so that when they get married they should have had enough experience with women.” He further adds that in the South African townships where his masculinity was constructed, when a boy had no girlfriends he was called a “Isishimani” ( a romantic no hoper) but if he had many girlfriends he was regarded as a hero or an “isoka,” the Zulu for a stud.

Leaving aside the question of the degree to which the urban melting pots called townships may be regarded as repositories of “traditional African values, Mazibuko’s statement points to the increasing important role conceptions of masculinity and how they arise are implicated in the spread of HIV/AIDS. In order to effect behavioural changes AIDS activists, NGO’s and researchers have tended to focus on traditional African practices such as polygamy, the inheritance of widows by the deceased’s relatives, and interventions of traditional healers which often encourage the male preference for dry sex, as if Africans drew from traditional African culture exclusively for constructions of their masculinity. I examine James Bond (film), Elvis Presley (music) and James Hardley Chase and Harold Robbins (fiction) as examples of icons of Western popular culture upon which generations of Africans drew for their constructions of masculinity.

My argument is that from pre-AIDS days constructions of masculinity in African townships have drawn from understandings of both traditional African values and Western cultural values in ways which valorize promiscuous life styles and coercive sex.

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HIV/AIDS: Contamination or Curse?

S. Maithufi

This paper takes shape from a number of interviews in South Africa of traditional healers. The debates around the scourge of HIV/ AIDS in South Africa seem to revolve mainly around prevention through abstinence, use of condoms, as well as through pledging and abiding by the vow of honesty, and the (non) provision of anti-retrovirals. Throughout these interviews, the healers stubbornly insist that the cure for this pandemic had always been available among their forebears.

Unfortunately, it is not the intention of this paper to discuss the medicinal quality of the so-called cure that these healers claim. This is because almost all of them shroud the alleged medicine in a veil of secrecy so that they could have it (medicine) patented in their own names. One fascinating theme that this papers discusses is the healers' allegation that HIV/ AIDS results from the curse ("sefifi"/ "isthunzi") passed on through sexual intercourse with a woman who has just committed abortion, or someone who has just lost a loved one. This loved one may be a child, or a wife, or a husband.

Quite evidently, the legalization of abortion least in South Africa, is denounced by the ordinary people mainly because the statutory text in which is written the legitimacy of abortion does not advocate and argue for the ritual cleansing of the people who have just committed abortion. Thus the belief that the spiralling rate of HIV/ AIDS should be traced back to the legalization of abortion. In other words, there needs to be developed a competent mechanism that will contend with two mind-sets. How can we advocate for the right of women to terminate pregnancy, on the one hand, and, on the other, instil in the minds of the ordinary people the fact that sexually engaging a woman who has just committed abortion does not necessarily ensure the transmission of HIV?

It is also emphasized in this paper that the ordinary people consider HIV/ AIDS to be a result of sexual engagement with the bereaved who have not yet performed the mourning rituals as prescribed by the healer. Once again, it is argued in this paper that contamination is perceived in transcendental (spiritual?) terms, where the cure can only be ritual cleansing. It is hazarded that the belief in such ritual most probably leads to the accelerating increase in the rape of innocent children. By virtue of their innocence, children fit squarely in the ordinary people's definition of the sacrificial goat.

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Cultural Factors in the Spread of HIV/AIDS among Children and Young People in Botswana

Tapologo Maundeni

Botswana is one of the countries that is experiencing an increase in the umbers of HIV positive people. Existing literature on factors influencing the transmission of HIV in Botswana has largely focused on adults. Little attention has been paid to cultural factors that contribute to the spread of HIV among children and young people. Cultural factors that are discussed in this paper include: the early marriage of the girl child; language; the girl child’s role as care-giver; and the socialization process. The purposes of this paper are two fold: a) to explore cultural factors that influence the spread of HIV/AIDS among youngsters in Botswana and b) to suggest strategies for the way forward.

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Cultural Practices that Influence the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Botswana.

E. A. Akinade

The study tried to investigate types of practices, personal experiences, risky sexual, marital and cultural behaviour and use of bloodletting implements on the body that contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS in this country. The participants were 376 males and females from diverse walks of life, married and single heterosexuals, pregnant women, widowers, PLWA and Home based caregivers. Their aged ranged from 11 to 56 years.

Methods used to collect information were case studies, self-designed interview protocol and a questionnaire. The questionnaire was anonymous and self administered, and some student-volunteers administered the tools on other participants during a mid-semester holiday.

Results showed that cultural practices such as a widow being asked to remarry a junior brother of her deceased husband [who might have died of AIDS], using the same sharp implements [which may be infected] for circumcision, body scarification, tattooing, and hair scrapping. Other factors mentioned were rape prepubescent girls and body piercing for earrings.

The study pointed out that researchers should also look into other sources of spread of HIV than sexual intercourse. The implications of the findings of this study were discussed.

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Culture-Based HIV/AIDS Treatment and Management in Tanzania.

Cosmas A. Kamugisha

Evaluations of past and existing HIV/AIDS prevention programmes reveal that the employed strategies have failed to effectively control the spread of the world devastating holocaust.Reasons why past and present strategies have met with little success seem to lie in the fact that the design of most projects for the prevention of HIV/AIDS so far has not paid due regard to the cultural characteristics of the targeted population especially the family realities, the indigenous knowledge and skills, and the traditional survival mechanisms of the effected communities.

Until now, prevention programmes have placed emphasis solely on self-protection or individual personal protection from the attack of the virus. But in most African traditional societies, clans or kinships transcend an individual person. The philosophical awareness of the existence of an individual is perceived in the existence of the kinship. The kinship system is like an insurance blanket, and the thicker it is the better during rainy days.One is required to pay premiums by participating fully in the life of the clan, which involves belief, values, ceremonies, religion, rituals, and so forth. The kinship has the obligation to provide security. The individual's responsibility is to increase and perpetuate the kinship.

The duty and responsibility of the individual to preserve, increase and perpetuate the clan has to be integrated into HIV/AIDS prevention package. In like manner, one has to participate in activities related to the survivial of the clan, such as in prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS.One has to mobilize resources of individuals, families, kinship, communities, local organizations, associations, institutions needed to design, plan and implement various interventions, such as:

*family visits.

*group meetings.

*community meetings.

*production of educational & training materials.

*songs and dances.

*Sports and games.

Also to mobilize and expand traditional primary and public heath care systems particularly AIDS prevention and home care services, prevention of STDs and counseling by;

*training of volunteer home-based care givers, including youth/adolescents,

*training of counselors.

*developing linkages between traditional and conventional health systems.

*Selecting youth volunteers to be trained for promulgation of HIV/AIDS information and education among youth peer groups, etc.

The analysis will be based on the experience results in Kagera region, North West of Tanzania.

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The Culture of Silence: Pathological Blindness that Becomes a Catalyst for the Spread of HIV/AIDS-the Kenyan Case

Lucy Kithome and Eunice Ivala

''I know he is moving around with women, but I am just waiting for him to bring AIDS to me and then we both die.'' A quote from a rural woman in Kenya.

This paper will address the culture of silence about AIDS, its causes and impact on the Kenyan society. It will also discuss possible suggestions on how to address the problem of silence about the disease.

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The déjà vu Factor in the Form and Content of Theatre against HIV/AIDS in Botswana

Thulaganyo Mogobe

Theatre, as an artform, is expected to exhibit certain characteristic that are generic to the discipline. Theatre is also, however, a medium of communication. In this role, theatre is required to observe some basic principles of communications media. Lastly, theatre in developing countries is seen also as an agent of development. With the advent of HIV/AIDS and its ever increasing prevalence rates in the country, theatre has had to be enlisted in this fight. From an observation of a number of productions on HIV/AIDS over the past few years, it has emerged that artistic/creative considerations have often been sacrificed at the alter of “effective communication” and of “agent provocateur”. There has proliferated a series of theatre productions that seemingly have adopted a simplistic interpretation of and approach to the HIV/AIDS scourge in Botswana. These productions have tended to say the same thing, the same way and making the same material representation of the problem on stage. One believes that such has implications on the effectiveness of the medium in educating people about the problem as well as on the development of Botswana Theatre as a cultural institution.This paper tries to explore this scenario.

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’Steps for the Future’ and Mediating Southern African HIV/AIDS in the United States

J. David Slocum

“Steps for the Future” is a major international film project that has produced thirty-eight documentaries about individuals with HIV or AIDS in Southern Africa. Funded substantially by the cultural ministry of Finland, produced by filmmakers from southern Africa, Europe, and the United States, and initially distributed throughout Africa and much of the industrialized world for exhibition on World AIDS Day 2001, the project presents varied and complex stories of individuals living with the illness. “Steps” productions have not been widely seen in the United States, however, and the U.S. Public Broadcasting System (PBS), unlike most of its international counterparts, has passed on opportunities to screen the films nationally and even, in most cases, locally.

The “Steps” project provides the basis for an illuminating ethnography of activist media addressing pressing social concerns and circulating culturally specific images and local narratives internationally. Even more, the lack of exhibition in the United States casts in sharp relief a number of specific concerns related both to global media culture and HIV and AIDS in Africa. By showcasing individuals living with HIV and AIDS, for example, “Steps” shifts the dominant paradigm of the disease in the popular media from that of a silent killer to something individuals can live with. A similar shift occurred in U.S. media in the early to mid-1990s, and its contemporary re-capitulation in films set in the very different context of southern Africa has complicated and arguably inhibited the media communication of and about HIV/AIDS to American audiences. Related to these cross-cultural and historical discourses that shape media experiences of the pandemic is the backdrop of global media industries and flows. The possibility of circulating cultural productions from southern Africa to the industrialized world (with the noted exception of the United States) on the scale of the “Steps” project has constituted nothing less than an alternative, south-to-north model of global media flow. Guiding this alternative circulation and at the root of “Steps’s” potential cross-cultural efficacy is, finally, the series’ reliance on storytelling and narrative to convey the richly varied, often intimate human experiences of individuals with HIV and AIDS in Africa. Though most readily classified as ‘documentaries,’ the films in the “Steps” project rely on these widely accessible discursive forms to convey experiences that, tellingly, remain at once global and local.

The proposed paper will trace the production history of “Steps” and early efforts to exhibit the films in the United States. It will then examine how this account sheds light on three principal concerns: 1) the cross-cultural politics of representing individuals living with HIV and AIDS; 2) the alternative model of globalization suggested by the flow of films from southern Africa to the U.S.; and, 3) the reliance on narrative forms and stories of individuals to communicate the experience of HIV/AIDS in southern Africa. The goal of the paper is to examine critically the history of “Steps in the Future” in the United States and, in the process, to deepen understanding of how the discourse of HIV/AIDS in Africa is circulated globally through activist media.

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Education on HIV/AIDS: Overcoming Language Barrier

Odunlade Adedeji

Relating ideas from one language to another is not an easy task. This is because ideas in a particular language may not have a term in the other language to exclusively express the idea. Simple direct translation from a national language (e.g. English or French) into a local dialect is fraught with problems. Expressing the idea of HIV/AIDS in educating the African communities, which have been noted as leading victims of the pandemic, have not been without this hitch.

The term HIV/AIDS is an English-coined acronym to express the concept of a virus and the deadly disease that its infection causes. The bulk information on these have been in national languages, hence making it difficult to pass the information across to where it is most needed - to the Africans who, according to figures, are leading victims of the deadly disease. However, it is very possible to explore the difficulty, sailing on the wings of homonyms, transliteration etc. to transport the idea from one language to another. The conversation below ensued between two men of the Yoruba tribe in the Western part of Nigeria, West Africa:

“Tunde! Tunde!! Tunde!!! Last week you were with Tope; yesterday, it was Tola; today, it is Toni. Haven’t you heard of the ‘eedi’(1) that comes on promiscuous fellows? The gods are angry o, so be warned!”

“Did you say ‘eedi’? I have not heard of it. Please tell me more”

“I was informed that there is a deadly ‘eedi’ in form of a terrible sickness that the gods invoke for promiscuity. It is said to be a disease that gradually kills, as a sacrifice to the gods; and anyone caught cannot escape the claws of the gods”

“Really? I’ve got to be careful o!”

In the Yoruba language, the idea of HIV/AIDS could be passed across based on ‘homonym’ of the term in the language. ‘Eedi’ pronounced A-I-D-I, sounds like AIDS except for the ‘I’ sound replacing the ‘S’ sound. However, since AIDS sounds like ‘eedi’ and ‘eedi’ is something so dreadful that it would be avoided at all cost, AIDS is also dreaded by the Yoruba tribe and would be avoided at all cost. Exploring the fact that a dreadful thing in the local dialect sounds like AIDS is an opportunity to present the idea of how virulent AIDS can be. Likewise, a tribe in East Africa coined a term that literally mean “slim disease” to explain the idea of HIV/AIDS. Thus, less effort would be needed in passing across any information on HIV/AIDS to these people.

This paper therefore seek to express the possibility of effectively communicating the idea of HIV/AIDS to people of various languages, irrespective of the problem that could be posed by language barrier. Educators on the issue are to familiarize themselves with the specific language, thereby looking for opportunities that could be explored in transporting the idea into the language. This is done bearing in mind that though the idea remains the same through all languages, there is the need to conceptualize the idea into specific languages for total comprehension.


1 ‘eedi’ refers to an irrevocable curse, over which the victim have no power to relieve or change the manifestation of the curse.

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Ethics and the Discourse of HIV / AIDS : The Hindu View

Dr U. D. Shukla

From the fact known about the genesis and spread of HIV/AIDS, physical sexual activity in which one of the participants is infected, has been identified as the cause.

In communities or families where the notion of marriage as the only environment for sexual gratification is still of some significance, the contracting or transmission of HIV/AIDS ought to be non-existent. The obverse notion that sexual promiscuity and multiple sexual partners in and out of wedlock makes people vulnerable to HIV/AIDS also prevails.

The moral-ethical dilemma confronting humanity today is the freedom of expressing one's sexuality as seen against living with a sense of responsibility and concern for others. The procreative or sexual urge is so powerful that societies everywhere had attempted to channel its energies through marriage or similar institutions. Various social, political and economic factors eroded these worthy institutions and unleashed sexual activity amongst all age groups, with dire consequences. The ethical constraints cannot be legislated: indeed it would be infringement of human rights. But the prospect of mass extermination of populations before remedies for the scourge of HIV/AIDS are found posits the question: What are nations, leaders and communities to do ? Laws are made for the prevention and prosecution of crime viz. Murder, robbery, rape, fraud etc. What law can stop the spread of HIV/AIDS ?

It is postulated that a strong moral-ethical revolution coupled with the proper development and channeling of youthful energies is the only saviour of humanity, especially in the absence of cures and absence of guarantees that the viruses won't mutate and make medication futile. The ethical basis for a discourse on HIV/AIDS must consider the reinforcement of love combined with sex, family values, caring for people one interacts with, and, of course, the desire to live and enjoy a long, healthy and happy life. This paper will attempt to investigate some of the ethical norms of communities, which could serve a prophylactic purpose.

In this context Hinduism regards marriage as a solemn, spiritual bond of a transcendental nature. Hindu ethics prescribe sixteen samskaras or rites of passage beginning with conception and ending with death. Marriage is one of the more prominent rites amongst these. Moreover, in order to ensure a well-balanced development of the individual, life is divided into four stages: the first prescribes celibacy, the second provides for marriage and procreation and the last two for restraint and sublimation. The various attributes and aspects of these norms will be examined in this paper to determine whether a social redefinition of life and human relationships could contribute to a better, healthier society.

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Fostering HIV/AIDS Awareness through art: Self-Help Projects in the Western Cape

Sandra Klopper

This paper brings together three case studies: the Khayamandi HIV/AIDS awareness project, which aims to involve local youths from the Stellenbosch region in the production of visually arresting anti-HIV/AIDS slogans and murals painted on the walls of shebeens, bus shelters, and other available public spaces; the commemorative cloths and t-shirts made by young mothers working at Philani, a self-help group based in Crossroads; and the products marketed and sold by Wola Nani, a self-help organization based in the Western Cape that seeks to give unemployed HIV-positive adults a chance to generate some income.

On the face of it, these three projects are very different. But while, if viewed from one perspective, the Khayamandi youths, young mothers from Crossroads, and unemployed HIV/AIDS sufferers undoubtedly have little in common, many of their works share several very important features. It is in part to these similarities that my paper address itself. In particular, I look at the exploration of notions of community and the need to fight a common enemy, both of which concerns clearly underlie many of the images produced by each of these three groups.

On the other hand, I am also concerned to explore and explain key differences between these three projects, notably the fact that while an interest in fostering HIV/AIDS awareness dominates the works produced by the Khayamandi youths and the women associated with the Philani project, Wola Nani is primarily engaged in preserving the dignity of HIV/AIDS sufferers through the development of products like bowls made from recycled materials which do not seek to draw attention to the HIV/AIDS status of the producers. In part, therefore, my paper aims to demonstrate that although the use of art in HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns is often very powerful, it is also understandable that some HIV/AIDS self-help projects are not concerned to use art for didactic purposes.

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Gender Perspectives in Prevention of Mother to Child (PMTCT) in Uganda

Angulo Joy, Dr. Okong P

Introduction: St Francis Hospital Nsambya is one of the pilot sites for the PMTCT Programme in Uganda. Women attending Antenatal clinic (ANC) are offered Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) and those found HIV positive and willing to take Antiretrovirals (ARVS) are given AZT at 36 weeks of gestation and niverapine at onset of labour and counselling on infant feeding. The infant feeding options are exclusive breastfeeding or (and) generic infant formula There are also other options provided and chosen by the mothers based on an informed choice by the mother after hospital and home based counseling. Prochild Outreach Project enhances the activities of PMTCT by providing psychosocial support in form of supportive counseling and follow up at home. Enrolling on the programme for these women does not only bring fear, worry, anxiety and depression but also results in social risks like stigma, abuse, marriage break up, neglect and discrimination both in the home and society.

Objectives of the ProChild Project: To determine the gender implications of mothers enrolled on the PMTCT programme and secondly to offer the necessary psychosocial supportive counseling to the enrolled sero-positive pregnant women beyond birth period and the walls of the hospital.

Methodology: Prochild counselors carry out supportive counseling and observations on pregnant women in ANC and at their homes. They also carry out interviews on these women, their spouses and relatives. Checklists are also used to record events like the health seeking behaviour, marital/sexual behaviour, work situation of the women and their partners and monitoring the behaviour of these women and their partners.

Results: Out of the 261 women made contact with, 147 women were followed up. 84 (41%) informed their partners. 84 (57%) did not. Out of the 60 partners aware, contact was made with only 22 (37%). The main reason cited by the women was fear of abandonment, blame and physical abuse. Women have got pregnant due to practicing unprotected sex, pressure to have more children and balance gender. The women also find difficulty to stick to the method of infant feeding chosen. Fear of stigma and abandonment make the women keep their HIV status a secret from their partners and close friends or relatives. Enrolling on the programme for these women does not only bring fear, worry, anxiety and depression but also results in social risks like stigma, abuse, marriage break up, neglect and discrimination both in the home and society. Women who do not inform their partners about their status cannot have protected sex, which leads to further infection and pregnancies. They get stigmatized due to the choice of feeding method they choose especially if it is infant formula feeding. They instead resort to telling lies to their partners, relatives and neighbours.

Conclusion: For women to make major decisions of their lives they need to consult their partners. They go through a process to take the test, enroll to take ARV drugs and be followed up at home for supportive counseling. Gender issues play a major role in the uptake of PMTCT activities and need to be addressed in order to register a reduction in MTCT. Men as well as women should be targeted. Involvement of men from the very beginning is vital for the success of the programme (routine antenatal care). The interventions should be gender sensitive. Home-based psycho-social counseling and follow-up should be a key component of all PMTCT interventions. What is more, much more effort should be done to involve and raise awareness among the partners and the community about such interventions, in order to reduce stigma, depression, unprotected marital/sexual behavior and high risk infant feeding behavior. In the absence of careful follow-up and counseling, greater awareness among the community, and male involvement, women may inadvertently put their infants at greater risk of HIV transmission by resorting to mixed feeding and having unprotected sex. Such findings highlight not only the urgency of putting greater emphasis on the criteria of safety, feasibility, acceptability, and sustainability of artificial feeding in the context of PMTCT, but also the crucial importance of gender balance in designing and implementing HIV transmission and prevention programs.

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Gender and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa

Shakila Reddy

Introduction: For all of the Sub-Saharan Africa, young women, aged 15-24, who were infected with HIV, were twice as many as men (World Bank: 1999). There are physiological and socio-culltural reasons why women are more at risk of contracting HIV than men. This is part of a larger study in progress which seeks to explore the influence of youth sexual identity on their sexual practices within the climate of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Review of Literature: Research in South Africa confirms that unequal gender relations often make it impossible for women to insist on condom use or to determine when and how sexual activity occurs( Abraham and Jewkes, 2000). Baylies (2000, 1), focussing on gender and AIDS in Africa, asserts that gender relationships not only underlie women’s vulnerability; but they also inhibit women’s attempts to protect themselves. She adds that if interventions around AIDS are to be effective, they must address the factors which drive the epidemic and that such factors are deep-seated and intransigent, embedded in the very power relations which define male and female roles and positions, both in intimate relations and the wider society.

The control and dominance of males over females is consistent with the findings of The National Progressive Primary Health Care Network (NPPHCN) survey, which demonstrates that it is boys who determine when and how sex occurs, and that girls commonly experience rape, violence and assault, including within relationships. In addition, a study among pregnant adolescent women, by Wood and Jewkes (1988), revealed that violent and coercive male behaviour, combined with young women's limited understanding of their bodies, the mechanics of sexual intercourse, directly affect their capacity to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases (STD's), pregnancy and unwanted sexual intercourse.

Methodology and Methods: To get to issues of sexual identities and practices requires qualitative methods of data production and analysis. I wish to choose a methodology that spreads authority and acknowledges and builds on the changes that are inevitable for subjects and researcher through participation in the research. In this context, the feminist perspective is most appropriate. I will work with mixed-sex groups, single-sex groups and individuals. The data production methods include: drawings, scenario writing, focus-group interviews, poster-making and presentation and individual interviews.

Conclusion: The literature suggest that girls and boys have different responses to knowledge about HIV/AIDS. The complex understandings exhibited by girls and boys are of great importance in planning interventions in schools.

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Gender in Bahaya Oral Poetry Related to AIDS: The Expected and the Acceptable

Aldin Mutembei

This paper addresses the gender question within the oral poetry related to AIDS that are produced by the Bahaya who live in the north-western part of Tanzania in the region called Kagera. The reason why gender aspects should be given due considerations in the AIDS study is well captured in the following words:

In Africa, STDs still carry the double stigma - of being sexually related as well as being believed to be 'a woman's disease'. Numerous examples across the continent attest to the widespread belief that women are inherently sexually unclean and that therefore sexually transmitted diseases are caused by women […] The sex worker is the most obvious scapegoat of such superstitions (McFadden 1992:159-160).

This 'erroneous myth' affects women's health status. The most negative impact is that it has created a situation where, some women accept that they - alone- are the carriers of the virus. Are women really 'accepting' this position? Or, is it the society that says women do accept this myth? If the latter is the case who is 'the' society? And why does it say so? Whose voice does the society represent?

This paper sets to analyse oral poetry produced by women and men in an attempt to address these questions. My aim is to find out whether or not such and other myths related to women are part and parcel of the society's gender construction and how such constructions are evident in oral poetry.

Four oral poetry texts that narrate about love and sexuality, health and illnesses, and AIDS and death are collected. Two texts were produced by women, and the two others by men. These are analysed using a narratology theory (Bal 1997). In these texts, I will be examining how 'man' and 'woman' are constructed through the oral poetry and what would that construction mean within the AIDS crisis. What do women composers say concerning their social position and vulnerability to AIDS? What do men composers say about relationships between man and woman in the AIDS situation? Moreover, what is accepted and expected in the society and by who?

The observations made in this paper may help social workers, social-cultural researchers on AIDS and educationists in the intervention against the spread of HIV and AIDS. Paying special attention to language construction in this poetry will help us understand the ideal language to use when we communicate AIDS and AIDS related messages

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Gideon Mendel and the Politics of Photographing the HIV/AIDS Pandemic in South Africa

Michael Godby

In his Introduction to Positive Lives, Responses to HIV, A Photodocumentary (London, 1993), Stephen Mayes, the Managing Editor of Network Photographers, summarizes the themes and issues represented in this collection of photographs: the transmission of HIV, the provision of care, the support structures, the attitudes and (when the virus strikes closer to home) the emotions. Mayes reflects on the ability of photography to represent the effects of an invisible microbe; how it can translate into visible form intangible emotional states such as fear, love, courage and alienation; how photography can interpret human experience and record very precisely social conditions; and how, moreover, photography can effectively transcend mere description and capture the reality of lived experience.

At first glance these comments would seem to apply to any documentary photography on the HIV/AIDS pandemic but, on reflection, it becomes clear that they reflect the rationale of AIDS photography in England, where the Positive Lives project originated - and, by extension, other first world societies - rather than the situation in South Africa or, indeed, Africa generally. By and large, photographs representing HIV/AIDS in South Africa appear to be motivated, not by compassion, which is a common first world approach, but by outrage: outrage at the scale of the pandemic; outrage at the inability of both medical resources and the social fabric generally to cope with the enormity of the problem; outrage at the refusal of governments and certain conservative sections of society to acknowledge the disaster; and, increasingly, outrage at the refusal of government to provide appropriate available medication. Obviously, the emotional intensity of much South African documentary photography on the issue reflects the greater scale of the disaster in this country as compared with, say, England, in terms of both the proportion of the population affected and the ability of the society to cope with the disease and its consequences. However, where first world representations of HIV/AIDS tend to emphasize both the invisibility of HIV and the similarity of AIDS sufferers to the rest of society, the strategies devised by third world photographers to gain attention, for example, of depicting moments of extreme suffering, or the desperate poverty of so many AIDS patients, and the patent inability of state medical institutions to cope, have the unfortunate consequence of polarizing society between the afflicted, on the one hand, and the “socially powerful”, as Martha Rosler describes them, on the other, to whom the photographs are addressed, seemingly in the hope they might provide some sort of remedy. Thus, while first world photographers tend to emphasize the normality of their subjects by rendering them virtually indistinguishable from groups of care-givers, for example, or ‘at risk’ sections of the population and, by extension, the spectators themselves, third world photographers, in representing the urgency of the situation, tend to further ostracize their society’s weakest members. This division is compounded by differences of class and, very often, race between the photographers and those they are representing; and the media in which the photographs are published, and the institutions in which they are exhibited, can reinforce the sense of a divided society.

In this paper I will explore the politics of representation in HIV/AIDS photography along these lines and examine recent projects by Gideon Mendel that seem to avoid the problems of “victim photography” in the representation of the crisis in South Africa. Mendel was active as a “struggle photographer” in this country before settling in London in 1990. He has long been involved with HIV/AIDS photography. He contributed an essay on ‘The Wards’ to Positive Lives in 1993 and he has had many of his photographs on AIDS-related subjects in Africa published and exhibited around the world. In 2001 Mendel published A Broken Landscape that arranges a selection of his African HIV/AIDS work in an extended narrative form that allows an unusually complex view of the AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. The outrage is there, of course, but so also is a concern to explore the social aspects of the disease, the context from which it arises and the consequences it has for society at large. Mendel is concerned also to document the fight against the virus, both medically in hospitals and in the home, and in education programmes that are designed to raise public awareness, increase tolerance and prevent infection. The narrative form of this structure allows Mendel to present a more dynamic and complex picture of the society in which HIV/AIDS is found that goes some way to bridging the gap between the subject of the picture and the spectator. In a more recent project based in the South African National Gallery, Cape Town, Mendel sought to reduce this distinction even further by such strategies as ‘self-portrait’ images of people with HIV/AIDS, interactive devices, ‘memory boxes’ created by women to pass on to their children, and informal displays of images that are designed to suggest proximity of access. The paper will report on these projects and assess their effectiveness in communicating the crisis of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

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HIV/AIDS and the Child: The Case of Botswana

Bridget Ng’andu

Like any other country in sub-Saharan Africa, and in most developing countries, Botswana is hit by the AIDS pandemic. This has resulted in a unified response by government through a multi-sectoral approach. The purpose of this paper is to highlight some policy issues as they relate to the Motswana child.

An understanding of the situation of the child in Botswana will be explored. Botswana rectified and signed the United Nations Charter for Children thus recognizing children’s rights. The role of the child will be examined in the context of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Examples will be sought from the sub-Saharan region as well. The paper is based on findings related to the PhD field-work carried out between July 2001 and January 2002 in Gaborone. The findings highlight a need for policy makers to realize that the role of the child has changed in the even of the pandemic, and that there is need for specific policies to address these changes.

Secondly, the law in Botswana has lagged behind in as far as the AIDS pandemic is concerned. There is need for laws that address the plight of children in cases where they lose their parents to HIV/AIDS, and their rights to property inheritance.

Thirdly, there is need to re-look the issue of child institutionalizations and other available alternatives to HIV/AIDS orphans. While these programs have been implemented, further studies are needed on the adjustment and treatment of these children either in formal or informal institutions of care (Orphanages and the extended family). Questions such as “is this really the solution?” needed to be critically evaluated. If it is, let us make these institutions a home for these children, where the elders are their guardians and not be subjected to ill-treatment. Issues of language and how these children are viewed in present day society will be explored.

The paper will seek to explore these issues based on research findings, and hopefully there is something that can be learnt from what is happening in Botswana by the rest of the world.

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How HIV/AIDS Activism in South Africa Addresses Race, Power, and Inequality

Jesse Weaver Shipley

In the context of post-Apartheid South African politics, discourses around the HIV/AIDS epidemic become sites for the re-negotiation of power and difference. I specifically focus on the various political and legal protests since March 2000 led by Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) South Africaís leading AIDS advocacy group, against the South African government and international drug companies in relation to resource allocation and treatment for HIV/AIDS. I examine these protest campaigns articulate the shifting relationships between the drug companies, the government, and local political organizations. I argue that one way race and class are refigured in the post apartheid era is through discourses of HIV/AIDS and how they intersect with and are shaped by institutions of power. TAC tactics in mobilizing various communities and in attempting to set the terms of public engagement reveal much about the shifting landscape of post-Apartheid politics especially in relation to race and class. The debates over the relationship of the state and global drug companies as well as the responsibilities of local corporations to their employees around treatment and resources available for HIV/AIDS, show the ways in which postcolonial relations of production and consumption and the opening of markets are linked through HIV/AIDS representations, practices, and activisms. With the end of apartheid and the rise to power of the former opposition African National Congress (ANC), South Africa officially became a non-racial society. However, the ANC has been caught in an increasingly contradictory position of reconciling local social needs with increasingly liberal forms of global capital.

By placing HIV/ AIDS in context of national politics and global economic policies, TAC allows public discourse around HIV/AIDS to be considered not only in relation to medicalized understandings of individual bodies or broader notions of epidemic but primarily through the ways it links together social inequality and race. Use discourse of inequality and poverty rather than pure medical discourse to talk about resources and treatment. How does activism draw on the alliances, symbols, and practices of political protest from the apartheid era? How are sexual, racial, and class identifications refigured in the context of HIV/AIDS organizing? How do media representations of HIV/AIDS rearticulate activism around HIV/AIDS for broader public understandings of the epidemic and its implications for postcolonial social forms?

TAC umbrella group of AIDS activists

March and April 2000- Drug companies sue south africa for importing cheap generics.. TAC as friend of the court provide evidence on drug complany pricing and human misery caused by HIV/AIDS.

August 2001- government is sued by TAC for not providing antiretrovirals to pregnant women denying the women and children the constitutional right to health care. To reduce number of SA children born with HIV which stands at 70,000. Doctors and activists sued govt. Aug 21 to distribute drugs which could reduce the babies born with it by half.

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HIV/AIDS, Poverty and Inequality: Evidence from the South African Demographic and Health Survey (DHS)

Dr. Frikkie Booysen and Me. Joy Summerton

Much has been written in recent times about the link between poverty and HIV/AIDS. This paper seeks to determine to what extent poverty and inequality plays a role in explaining awareness and risky sexual behavior in the context of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, using data from the South African Demographic and Health Survey. The DHS does not collect information on income and expenditure, but do ask a number of questions related to socioeconomic circumstances in the household questionnaire, e.g. asset ownership, housing material, and access to sanitation and water. In the absence of data on income and expenditure, data on these variables are used to develop an asset index that can be used as a proxy for socioeconomic status. A methodological approach similar to that employed by the World Bank in research on socioeconomic differences in health, nutrition and population (HNP) is used for this purpose. Factor analysis is employed in identifying which of the specific variables best explain differences in the construct of ‘socioeconomic status’. The individual standardized scores on the selected variables are then weighted by the corresponding scoring coefficients obtained from the factor analysis to calculate the asset index. The population is then divided into five wealth quintiles so as to determine how certain health characteristics (in this case issues related to HIV/AIDS) differ between people of different socioeconomic status. The indicators used for this purpose are the poor/rich-ratio and the concentration index. As a first step, the DHS data for South Africa is used to explore the relationship between poverty, knowledge about HIV/AIDS and risky sexual behavior. Preliminary analysis suggests that although women in poorer households have less access to knowledge and are more likely to not have changed their behavior, that the health gradient is relatively small and that the association between HIV/AIDS and poverty is not statistically significant. In other words, women in general are at risk rather than predominantly poorer women. The evidence also suggests that knowledge is not being translated into behavior change, with a high percentage of women that knows the sexual transmission routes of HIV and that has had risky sex not wearing a condom during last sex. Consequently, the second part of the analysis employs logistical regression analysis to determine those factors that may predispose women that are knowledgeable about the sexual transmission routes of HIV to risky sexual behavior. These factors include age, poverty, urban/rural residence, knowing someone with HIV/AIDS, source of HIV/AIDS knowledge, having been the victim of sexual violence or mistreatment, and having little power in their relationships. Preliminary analysis, which it should be emphasized is still in a very early stage and has not yet considered all the factors listed here in the modeling, suggests that the source of HIV/AIDS knowledge, age and urban/rural residence are important determinants of behavior change, while education and knowing someone with HIV/AIDS do not appear to explain the lack of behavior change. In preparing the final paper for the conference, the complete list of independent variables will be included in the analysis and the final modeling results will be reported on.

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HIV/AIDS Education Isn't Only for Health Class

Regina K.Masalela and Ndubuisi Edeoga

A report made at the “African Development Forum 2000” notes that, “Around half of the people who acquire HIV become infected between the ages of 15 and 24. Many young people run the risk of HIV infection because they lack essential factual knowledge and information. Large proportion of young people do not know any way to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS”. AIDS related educational programmes often shy away from dealing in an existential manner with the basic issues of child adolescent sexuality. Often educators present abstract themes and principles on biological and physiological facts that do not make sense to many young people. Cases of many more AIDS and AIDS related cases among those aged 15-24 suggest that in most cases HIV infection must have occurred long before the individual reached age 15. This is a clear indication that, being at school did not provide any protection

This paper suggests a special multidisciplinary curriculum that could be employed to transport HIV/AIDS education out of its relegated position in African school health classes and move it into other areas of the curriculum. HIV/AIDS curriculum is often relegated to Health class where instruction can be clinical and boring. To approach AIDS education in a multidisciplinary way had the potential for making the curriculum fun. More importantly, if students miss the message in a course, an activity in another course might capture their imagination and begin the learning process. The primary goals of the curriculum should be to have students experience the practical application of academics to HIV/AIDS. The hope would be that, learning about HIV/AIDS through its connections to all areas of the curriculum would translate then to the students’ personal lives. The multidisciplinary approach would also sensitize the students about HIV/AIDS at a very age of their primary school education as opposed to introducing the subject at a higher level of primary schooling when it might be too late. HIV/AIDS related activities could be incorporated into the content of every subject as a way of providing knowledge to students. A notable general issue in African schools is the absence of consensus in lack of life skills and health education in the school curriculum.

Experts agree that prevention through education is the best way to fight the transmission of HIV, and that education must begin before young people initiate sexual activity and certainly not later than grade seven (Black & Jones, 1988; Kirby, Barth, Leland & Fero, 1991; White & Ballared, 1993). Schools through educational intervention could offer accessible and appropriate setting for HIV/AIDS education.

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HIV/AIDS and Organisational Communication

Dr.Simeon Maile

This article deals with communication in educational organisations on HIV/AIDS issues.I argue that communication is affected by cultural factors prevalent in the organisation and the legal matters of human rights.The central argument raised is that HIV positive educators are probably suffering from excommunication emanating from stigma,cultural obstacles and ignorance of the law.I used change theories to discuss and interpret these aspects.Data is drawn from literature ranging from primary sources to secondary sources.

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Finding a Visual Language to Talk about AIDS: HIV/AIDS Awareness Murals in South Africa

Sabine Marschall

Since the mid 1990s, an large number of community murals with an HIV/Aids message have been painted all over South Africa, especially in townships around the country’s urban centres and on university and technikon campuses. This paper will focus on the visual language that artists and participating community activists have developed to publicly ‘talk’ about issues of sexuality and disease, topics that are (or were) highly sensitive or taboo for many members of local communities. It will be shown how the task of imaging Aids involves walking a tight rope between presenting a clearly comprehensible message to largely illiterate anonymous audiences while simultaneously being inoffensive and respecting these audiences’ sensibilities and moral standards. As murals are usually site-specific and tailor-made for the respective target community, Aids murals become a fascinating reflection of real and perceived levels of prudishness, cultural value systems, entrenched beliefs and identity in different communities throughout South Africa.

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HIV/AIDS Discourses in KwaZulu-Natal

Johannes Magwaza

KwaZulu-Natal has the highest incidence of HIV infection in South Africa. In the absence of a cure for AIDS, the spread of HIV should be curbed through programs to educate communities on how to avoid HIV exposure. Employing the notion of discursive psychology as expounded by Potter and Wetherell (1987, 1988, and 1992), Parker (1992), and Banister (1994) (although reference will be made to other discursive analytic approaches), this paper examines responses to a questionnaire designed to establish what are the HIV/AIDS discourses in KwaZulu-Natal and what these discourses tell us about the attitudes held by the participants in this study. The work of discursive psychologists is important for the purposes of this study because it shows that individual attitudes are phenomenological correlates of group ideology. The data shows negative and judgmental attitudes towards people living with AIDS and the characterization of HIV/AIDS as the disease of the 'other'. It is believed that the information obtained from this survey can be used to craft educational programs that will sensitize the people of KwaZulu-Natal to how HIV is actually transmitted and to foster compassion for AIDS sufferers.

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Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Technological Capacity in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa

Stephen M. Mutula

The revolution in information technologies has propelled the use of computing, telecommunications and broadcasting both in the developed and developing world into the public domain. Such one development has been the Internet, which has become increasingly a ubiquitous aspect of life throughout the world. It is difficult to imagine effective performance of any systems that no longer depend on the power of telematics for their day today operations. In several parts of Sub-Saharan Africa efforts are being by national governments to harness the power of technology for socio-economic development. However, the myriad problems that afflict the continent such as AIDS pandemic, civil conflicts, heavy foreign debts, corruption, poor performing economies, lack of indigenous technological capacity, etc do not put the continent as yet in a competitive position to effectively adopt and utilise the emerging information technologies to their advantage. As a result, indigenous information systems and indigenous technological capacities remain the most effective means to address the continent’s social, economic and political problems. HIV/AIDS remains the most challenging problem for many governments of sub-Saharan Africa.

This paper addresses the problem of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa through a cocktail of hybrid approaches namely: - indigenous knowledge systems, indigenous technological capacity, traditional medical practice and a blend of modern and traditional technologies.

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Sex-Related Students' Language at the University of Botswana: Implications for HIV/AIDS

Dr. Yisa K. Yusuf and Mrs. Sibonile Ellece

This study examines the language of students at the University of Botswana in matters relating to sex, sexuality and relationships with a view to determining the extent to which it correlates with the spread or prevalence of HIV/AIDS. It is carried out from the background of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, and specifically on the basis of the assumptions that language can reflect thought and reality and can therefore be a guide to behaviour. In other words, since HIV/AIDS is a serious socio-economic problem, in Southern Africa in general and Botswana in particular, we hope to show how language use reflects and reinforces attitudes to matters relating to sex, sexuality and relationships, and how these attitudes are relatable to the spread of the pandemic.

To achieve the objective stated above, we administered a questionnaire to students taking courses in the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Botswana to elicit English and Setswana expressions that are used to refer to various issues of sex, sexuality and relationships. The questionnaire specifies these issues through a list of 24 items. The responses of the subjects are then clarified with respect to meaning, where necessary, through informal interviews.

It is hoped that in addition to providing information on the issues indicated above, the study would give insight into the relative use of English and Setswana for the articulation of the various items for which students’ expressions are solicited. It is also hoped that the research would be a further contribution to understanding and addressing the problems of HIV/AIDS.

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Language Inferiority and the Spread of HIV/AIDS: The Case for Rural Families

Nobuhle Ndimande

HIV/AIDS is a reality, it is an incurable disease and it kills. This is what people need to know in their own language so that they could prevent the spread of this disease. This paper will focus on the role, which is supposed to be played by African languages in teaching people about HIV/AIDS. South Africa has 11 official languages which means that citizens from nine provinces need to be serviced in their own languages. South Africa is one of the African countries, which is faced by the scourge of HIV/AIDS. I believe that the reason why so many people are dying of AIDS especially Africans is because of the languages, which were initially used in teaching and conducting AIDS awareness campaigns. I strongly believe that the media coverage, especially the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) did not do justice in their adverts about HIV/AIDS in terms of language needs for South Africa. This paper will also look at the case study for rural families, who have been struck by this disease and the resentment they still have about HIV/AIDS. The resentment they have about HIV/AIDS has to do with witchcraft by the neighbour. Such resistance among Africans in South Africa will worsen the situation of HIV/AIDS and more people will die in the process. This paper will also address the stereotyping idea, which exists among Africans in South Africa, that once you are infected by HIV/AIDS you must not die alone. I feel that it is high time that the South African Government address people about HIV/AIDS in their own languages so as to make a difference.

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Learner HIV/AIDS Narratives to Reconceptualise the Curriculum

Dr Reshma Sookrajh

The paper begins with a view of curriculum that shifts the focus of attention from the technical approach to curriculum which includes its preoccupation with designs and outcomes, towards a reflection of ones inner experiences through narratives. I then argue for an autobiographical approach to curriculum perceptions within which to locate learner stories of HIV/AIDS. Thereafter, a methodological position is presented which derives from Noel Gough’s “learning from our stories” approach. The sample of learners at a selected secondary school is then described through the storied lens of the researcher. A few compelling stories are then shared and analysed to illustrate the power of the narrative within a reconceptualised curriculum.

In pursuing this aim through an interpretation of texts produced by the learners on HIV/AIDS, this paper examines the possibilities for curriculum reconceptualisation of HIV/AIDS at secondary school level. By shifting the focus of attention away from the technical rationale with its concentration on design and objectives, towards dwelling on the nature of one’s inner experience, Pinar (1975:400) offered curriculum as “the investigation of the nature of the individual experience of the public: of artifacts, actors, operations, of the educational journey or pilgrimage” - a knowledge-producing method of inquiry appropriate for the study of educational experience. In doing so, it is hoped be able to analyse educational experience, to reconstruct curriculum materials in terms of the individual’s own consciousness. Pinar (1975:408) further echoed with Maxine Greene’s sentiments that to reconstruct a narrative of educational experience is “to allow it presence within me, uncritically, to observe it and how it “fits”, if it is the next “piece” in the developing gestalt, to “test it” against memories of past experience”, hence a collection of HIV/AIDS related stories by learners. Carter (1993:6) describes how story can be used as a ‘way of capturing the complexity, specificity, and interconnectedness of the phenomenon’, and as a ‘way of knowing and thinking that is particularly suited to explicating the issues’ and as a ‘product of a fundamentally interpretive process’. Thus learners’ stories can be regarded as valuable documents which provide insights into how educators and learners perceive and interpret their learning and teaching.

In this paper it is argued that this narrative approach to curriculum transforms the roles of teachers and learners in relation to what counts as knowledge of HIV/AIDS in the classroom. It presents as an example of pedagogic practice that can lead to producing particular kinds of learners-knowledge makers (Brouard et al, 1999). The insights through the use of narratives allow both teachers and learners to gain insights into the complexities of how learners understand the pandemic and how it can be seriously assimilated into the school curriculum.

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Literature, Morality and the HIV/AIDS in Kenya

Tom Odhiambo

This paper argues that Kenyan literature, particularly popular literature, has always been in the forefront in attempting to sensitise the Kenyan public about issues or sexuality and morality, which are closely linked to the HIV/AIDS phenomenon. Morality, both individual and collective, has always been a sensitive issue modern Kenya. The appearance and debilitating effects of the HIV/AIDS phenomenon in Kenya in terms of the number of deaths it has caused, have forced Kenyans to rethink and search for newer ways of understanding morality. Literature has not been left behind in this elusive groping for a new morality in Kenya. The reason is because Kenyan popular literature, since its emergence in the 1970s, has always interrogated the morality of Kenyans. David G. Maillu made his name in the Kenyan literary circles by writing mini-novels and songs, such as My Dear Bottle (1973), After 4.30 (1974), Unfit for Human Consumption (1973), whose core subject matter was sex. A number of writers, either before or after him, had or did write in the same vein in which sex was a prominent feature of the novels, poems and novellas that they wrote. But critics accused Maillu and other Kenyan popular writers of corrupting both the individual and public morality because the popular texts were too explicit in their depiction of sex and unrestricted in the use of language that dealt with matters of sex. The critics were all in defense of morality. But in effect, what both the public and the literary critics were doing was to behave like the proverbial ostrich. Now that the HIV/AIDS scourge has, in a sense, proved that indeed there was not much of a morality to defend - the leading cause of HIV/AIDS infection in Kenya is heterosexual sex, which to an extent points to sexual promiscuity and irresponsibility among Kenyans - little attention is being paid to the (fore)warnings that were carried in those writings that indulged in ‘sexual adventure’ such as the works of Maillu. The point we are making here is that if Kenyans continue to predicate the spread of HIV/AIDS on (im)morality then they need to assess the extent to which they are being honest to themselves. Although Maillu is yet to write a text on HIV/AIDS, his revised (but unpublished) My Dear Bottle (2001) grapples with the effects of the disease in the Kenyan society. The argument we make here is that Maillu’s writing in general, although undoubtedly too liberal in depiction of sex, it nevertheless did attempt to open up and democratize the moral space in Kenya which should have prepared Kenyans to deal better with the issues of morality, sex and HIV/AIDS if only they had bothered to read the texts more critically than they did.

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Speech or Silence: The Linguistic Implication of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Spread in Rural African Communities

Joseph C. Ogbodo.

That the world is under the HIV/AIDS scourge is no longer in doubt, the protestation of certain individuals notwithstanding. It is also a fact that while the number of infested persons is decreasing in some countries due to laudable programmes for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and management of patients, the scourge is pandemic in some other countries especially in Africa for obvious and hitherto unaddressed reasons.

Ten years after the Federal Government of Nigeria launched the "War Against AIDS" in 1991 with emphasis on "Safe Sex" the dreaded HIV/AIDS has continued to spread devastating the population. According to a research report published in 1998, about two million people are said to be living with HIV (virus) while about 103,000 AIDS related deaths have been recorded. The figures have increased over since. About four million Nigerians, according to some report, are HIV positive and many more thousands have died of AIDS and its related diseases. If one takes into consideration the dearth of statistical records on infection and death, and the enormous, uneducated, poverty-stricken rural population in Nigeria who are not reached by Health Officials, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS and those who have died of the infection would definitely be higher.

Why is the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS in our country Nigeria increasing instead of decreasing since the "War Against HIV/AIDS" launch in 1991? What should be done to stem the ferocious spread of the disease among the rural population? Which other habits among the rural population apart from sexual intercourse, promote HIV/AIDS spread? These crucial questions impelled the researcher to make series of visits to four rural communities - Ebia, Amudamu, Ikpakpara, and Aguamede. The first two villages are in Ikem, the last two are in Eha-Amufu. All four communities are in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State.

In the course of our research, we stumbled upon the fast that the culture of silence and the screaming lack of linguistic information contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS among the rural dwellers. Our finding agrees with that of Professor J.C. Caldwell of the Australian National University, Camberra, who, in expressing concern that in most of Africa the AIDS epidemic is just beginning advised that governments get more deeply into the area of education and information in changing human behaviour. Some other practices that encourage the spread of the virus in rural areas are still there largely as a result of ignorance. It is easier and much more expedient for the politician to visit the rural areas and buy their votes with cartons of beer and a few cash but blame the lack of access roads, hospitals and health officials for the same people on scarce resources. In other words rural communities see more of politicians asking for votes than health officials talking to them about HIV/AIdS.

This research emphasizes the fact that the vehicle for the dissemination of information is language and relates the spread of HIV/AIDS among the rural populace to culpable linguistic mum.

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Listening to Orphan Voices.

Marguerite Daniel

Background: Botswana is one of the countries worst affected by HIV/AIDS. It is estimated that in 2000 10% of all children (18 years and below) were orphans and by 2020 this will rise to 20% of all children. To date, most of these children have been absorbed by the extended family and orphans who are registered are eligible for benefits which include a monthly food basket, school uniforms, blankets and paraffin.

Issues: The study explores the extent to which the extended family is under stress and what effect this may have on the community. It also looks at the nature and extent of the psycho-social impact of orphanhood.

Description: There are five research sites representing a range of tribal compositions and varying dominant economic activities. In each of the research sites a schools survey is carried out to build up a picture of the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of school children and teachers concerning AIDS. Teacher and student questionnaires and focus groups are used as well as semi-structured interviews with head teachers and school management teams. In addition to the schools survey there is ongoing direct research with orphans and their carers. This starts with a semi-structured interview with the social worker and the orphan’s carer. Thereafter activities-based discussions are held with the orphans, both individually and in groups. This follows a graded approach in which more sensitive topics are dealt with later as rapport and trust are built up over time.

Lessons learned: Although students tend to be well-informed about HIV/AIDS and how to avoid infection, risky behaviour and myths still persist as does fear of testing and knowledge of HIV status. Many of the students at secondary schools are 18,19 or even 20 years old and a large proportion of the students are thought to be sexually active. There are also alarmingly high levels of sexual harrassment by male teachers of female students.

Only a fraction of the total number of orphans has been registered to receive benefits and in practice what is actually received varies from region to region. The vast majority of orphans are cared for by female relatives, usually the grandmother. Many of the orphans are frequently ill, they are more often absent from school than when their parent was alive, some have suffered loss of property (taken by relatives) and others have been abused physically or psychologically.

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Mass Media Communications of and about HIV/AIDS in Tanzania

Lilian T. Osaki

Tanzania newspapers started reporting an discussing seriously about HIV/AIDS in 1990. Taking into considerations that the disease was first diagnosed in 1983 one notes that it took almost ten years for the media to understand the gravity of the problem. This paper attempts to provide a historical background of how Tanzania Media has handled the issue of HIV/AIDS since 1983. The paper will make an analysis of the media's role in the fight against AIDS by studying three basic areas.

How is the information about HIV/AIDS reported

Who is the source of the information reported and who is its targeted audience. How does this audience respond to the information provide din the Newspaper. This paper will confine its research Tanzanian English newspapers only.

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War, Movement and Food. The Use of Metaphors in Discourses about AIDS

Angelika Wolf

Metaphors help to better understand the world. As we know from Aristotle they were used in ancient times, but even today they find their way into our language and thought. Especially when talking about disease and threatening harm to our bodies, they serve as a device to explain the non-understandable. Within public discourses about the AIDS pandemic abundant pictures were created. Discussion about the spread of the virus centered, for instance, on the thread of its 'global flow' and was often counteracted by cultural 'closure'.

The use of metaphor varies culturally. Whereas military metaphors are dominant in the global discourse of biomedicine, in wide areas of Africa the metaphor of ´eating` is very common. Drawing on examples from fieldwork in Malawi, the papers describes the use of food metaphors in daily talk and in national campaigns against the spread of the disease. They are found on AIDS prevention posters as well as in songs of a national AIDS song contest. They are used by healers when describing the ´greedy` activity of the AIDS virus within the human body. And they are commonly used among women when talking about sexual relations. However, while women tried to convince their husbands to use condoms, men`s attidudes about them were rather sceptical. Many refused them by stating „You don't eat sweets in a package“. Thereby, men not only neglected their use, but pointed to a specific sensory concept that relates to consumption.

Besides war and food symbols, when talking about the peril of an infection with HIV, the use of metaphors of movement is common in Malawi. „It`s better to stay“ was set against „moving around“. Whereas the former was given a positive value, the latter described negatively judged behavior. According to the general view in Malawi and wider Africa a 'good' person is a quite and peaceful person. Movement was given a negative connotation and attributed to people in certain professions like long distance truck drivers, taxi drivers, prostitutes or migrants. Transgression of geographical limits corresponds in the consciousness of many people to transgression of moral values. These values are relative to social context and, as they are ascribed to actions and certain features, they create meaning. Thus by paying attention to metaphors in daily language, we may discover culturally embedded values of people and the society they live in.

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The Metaphorical Nature of HIV/AIDS: An Analysis of the Coverage of HIV/AIDS in Four Zimbabwean Newspapers

Sara Page

Background: Twenty years after its discovery, individuals continue to try and make sense of HIV and AIDS. Many journalists view their role as ‘interpreters’, responsible for conveying information on HIV and AIDS to their target audiences from scientific journals and reports. Metaphors are one technique that they use to simplify HIV/AIDS information for the public, yet the language and metaphors they use can influence the way individuals perceive HIV and AIDS.

A metaphor is a literary device that gives meaning to a complex or unfamiliar entity by relying on word associations. In addition to giving meaning, it attaches feelings, and ideologies that help the reader to further conceptualise the idea. Through repetition and circulation, a pervasive metaphor may become difficult to distinguish from the original concept and its associated relationships may be influenced.

An analysis of metaphors used in media texts is an effective method of exploring how members of the public are discussing, conceptualising and interpreting HIV and AIDS. This paper aimed to analyse the metaphors used in the coverage of HIV/AIDS by four national Zimbabwean newspapers.
Methods: Metaphors associated with HIV and AIDS were examined as part of a larger discourse analysis of news articles published in four national Zimbabwean newspapers (the Herald, Daily News, Financial Gazette and Sunday Mail). From November 1999 to July 2000, the newspapers were scanned for all articles mentioning HIV and/or AIDS. In total, 370 articles were collected. The articles were analysed qualitatively for their content, language and metaphors.
Results: From the articles, six dominant metaphors were identified: 1) HIV/AIDS is a war-to be fought, 2) HIV/AIDS is a disaster- to be curbed, 3) HIV/AIDS is a business-to be managed, 4) HIV/AIDS is a secret-to be opened, 5) HIV/AIDS is a risk-to be avoided, 6) HIV/AIDS is a social problem-to be controlled. Each of these metaphors extended beyond a description of HIV and AIDS and addressed issues related to HIV prevention, treatment and care within a particular conceptual framework. For example, in articles where HIV was described as a business, discussions on prevention involved business strategies as solutions. Two minor metaphors were identified 1) HIV/AIDS as a weapon, 2) HIV/AIDS as a death sentence. In several articles, the phase “AIDS is now…” reflected an assumption about a changing conceptual understanding of HIV and AIDS. Using quotes from the news articles, this paper explores and discusses each identified metaphor.

Conclusion: In the coverage of HIV and AIDS by four Zimbabwean newspapers, six major metaphors were identified.Rarely defined in news articles, HIV and AIDS are frequently described as a metaphor. Some of these metaphors are similar to those identified in analyses conducted in other countries. News articles written by foreign journalists or quotes from scientific documents may have influenced the use of these metaphors. As more dominant metaphors become accepted, issues related to HIV/AIDS such as prevention, care and treatment are discussed within the same metaphorical framework. This can have a positive or negative impact on the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS. By analysing the metaphors published in media text, health educators can gain an understanding of how members of the public may conceptualise HIV and AIDS.

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Multiple Jeopardy: AIDS and Women in Swaziland.

Ackson M.Kanduza

The paper intends to show that the consequences of HIV/AIDS require a revolutionary response because it worsens the the social and economic position of women in Swaziland. It advocates that position after describing the situation of AIDS in the country. The evidence is that women in Swaziland are minors. In many spheres of Swazi social, economic and political life, Swazi women are second class citizens in the land of their ancestors and their birth. The paper focusses on the long period it has taken the Swazi Govenment to adopt a policy on gender.

With that background, the paper will examine the way information is collected from women. It makes a critique of the fact that pregnant women are powerless and yet information is gathered from them when it subsequently does not benefit them. Instead, we

are informed that levels of infection are increasing. The increase is particularly of concern among women. Figures on levels of infection in Swaziland show that more women than men are affected. This is largely because of the compromised social status of women in Swazi society.

The paper will finally examine the women as a potential source of cheap labour. The intention of this section of the paper is to argue that while the Swazi state is ambivelent about the position of women, women themselves are in such a hopeless state that they cannot help themselves. In the context of this depressed situation, HIV/AIDS should be approached with holistics remedies that cure or reduce the epidemic and also advance the social, economic and political power of women.

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Using Narratives to Understand People's Experience on AIDS: Examples from Oral Poetry of the Bahaya of Bukoba, Tanzania.

Aldin K. Mutembei

Poetry, theatrical performances, and storytelling are traditional modes of teaching and indoctrination in Tanzania. (Welch, 1974.; Muhando, 1983). With the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) epidemic, theatrical performances for example, followed this tradition in illustrating what it is to live with AIDS. In villages, especially in the highly affected areas, one often hears songs lamenting the situation of children orphaned by AIDS. More often poems, short stories and theatrical performances explaining the AIDS pandemic appear in the Kiswahili newspapers and in Tanzanian radio and television stations.

It has been observed that all these artistic works form unique narratives which render the subject of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and AIDS as a painful reality in the lives of every segment of society (Birkoff,C.J and Körner,J. 1994). These narratives address issues such as risk groups, risk behavior and gender relations. They also show the feelings and attitudes towards the sero-positive people. But also sometimes, the narrators show their prejudices and their understanding of the modes of transmission of the virus, which may not necessarily be the same as that given by health and health-related officials. This indicates that most of AIDS art is informative, but also frequently opinionated. The opinions indicate as stated above, the narrator's level of AIDS awareness.

This paper has chosen to concentrate on the oral poetry on AIDS from Kagera region. I have done so precisely because, among these genres, oral poetry has generated a considerably larger number of issues on the subject of AIDS than other narratives. But what is probably more interesting is the way this poetry has been changing with time in terms of form and content in the past one decade. It is not a study about oral poetry as a genre in literature, but rather, an analysis of the language found in that oral poetry and how Bahaya communicate about AIDS using oral poetry.

Although language and literature discussing HIV and AIDS, has attracted attention of scholars in other parts of Africa (Morrison,A.1990; Obbo,C.1991, 1995; Seidel, 1993; Nnko et al. 1995; Nnko, 1997; Setel, 1999) in Tanzania this has not been realised. Most of the non-medical works dealing with the subject of AIDS are from a socio-anthropological point of view, and lack a meaningful discussion on the role and contribution of literary artists' works, and their social implications to the Tanzanian society.

Data collection was done between 1992 and 2000 in Kagera region, Tanzania, concentrating mainly in Bukoba rural district. The basic argument is that health, social, and education officers responsible for AIDS campaigns should be acquainted with the language the people use in their day-to-day life. This would enable them to effectively pass the knowledge they have to the intended recipients. In this paper I make the following arguments

1.We can use oral poetry to study the socio-cultural aspects related to AIDS.

2.Oral poetry gives a possibility through which intervention measures against HIV could be accommodated to an African society.

3.Oral poetry is a another source from which people's experience about a certain phenomenon can be studied.

4.Using the experience of people as expounded in oral poetry, experts can communicate knowledge which is culturally acceptable in a given society.

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AIDS During the Health Transition: Narratives of Nostalgia

Julie Livingston

This paper locates patient experiences of and rhetoric about the AIDS epidemic within a larger post-colonial history of health transition. The discussion examines a set of local narratives collected in southeastern Botswana between 1997 and 1999 in which patients and their family members critique current health care by constructing a nostalgic past as a template on which to read the shortcomings of the present. These narratives suggest that people experience the AIDS epidemic as one facet of a larger recent history of political and cultural change. Patient narratives also remind us that the epidemic is part of a broad post-colonial health transition in which the rates of chronic debilitating illness have risen, even as the degree of acute infectious disease has fallen. Thus local people rightly incorporate the rise of AIDS and the rise of “diseases of development” like diabetes, stroke, and cancer into a single larger evaluative discourse. These narratives provide an important corrective to the meta-narratives of International Health, which focus on acute, infectious disease in developing countries, thereby obscuring or discounting the rise of chronic illness. International Health programs and practitioners thus focus on AIDS as an acute, lethal, infectious disease, while patients experience AIDS as a set of chronic, degenerative conditions. This has important implications for health care.

Thus despite the statistically proven efficacy and the rational modeling of the new health and welfare systems, many Batswana with whom I spoke in the late 1990s, consistently expressed a diametrically opposite view of the historical trajectory of health care development than their international and governmental counterparts. People, in fact, insisted that local health services had been deteriorating since Independence. Certainly part of the reason for this divergence was the collision of an AIDS epidemic with the health transition described above, which has thrown this recent history into a new light. Why and on what terms did people question the fundamental efficacy of post-colonial bio-medicine, with its tablets and injections, public institutions and interchangeable personnel? The patient narratives I will present suggest that answers to these questions lie in three related areas: the character of post-Independence, internationally determined bio-medical culture which privileges preventive and curative technologies to the exclusion of palliative care; the parallel commodification of Tswana medical services which has accompanied economic development; and the nature of the local epidemiological transition resulting in a growing incidence of chronic illness --of which AIDS is but one facet, albeit a significant one.

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The Participation of Women in Communication for HIV/AIDS Prevention in Africa: The Experience of Rural Tanzania

Anna Nkebukwa

Effective communication, as opposed to information dissemination, implies an interactive process with efficient feedback mechanisms linking all stakeholders in the process. Most of the communication channels to which women in Africa have access, have several limitations. The print media, for example, poses problems of language, literacy, communication patterns, low education, skewed socio-economic and power relations, and failure to sustain reader interest. These problems are pronounced in Tanzania due an underdeveloped publishing industry which has to rely heavily on external support for sustainability thus limiting ability and interest to cater for local interests. The audio-visual media, including radio and TV also pose the problem of limited accessibility to the general public. The performing arts and other grassroots communication channels are effective but they been largely relegated to the background. Other channels include seminars/workshops and other discussion fora but their attendance by rural women is still limited.

Due to the gender inequality and the marginalisation of women which is inherent in education for HIV/AIDS prevention, access to these channels is limited especially for rural women. Women have practical and strategic information needs which have not been adequately addressed by communication media. Several reasons serve to minimize the effective participation of women in HIV/AIDS prevention. HIV/AIDS presents an unprecedented challenge to communication agents, especially as far as women are concerned.

Traditionally and culturally, several factors deny women adequate exposure to factual information. These include time, heavy domestic workload, low education and literacy levels, the domestication of women, the biased contents of messages, lacking gender-sensitivity, and other cultural specifics and inhibitions inherent in skewed gender relations. All these factors have been compounded by the very nature of HIV/AIDS.

The disease, by its very nature is a sensitive issue, shrouded in secrecy, silence, stigma, and recriminations. The intricacies of private human needs and relations often lead women, who lack direct exposure to factual information, to place misguided trust on men who they have been socialized to consider to be more knowledgeable than themselves. HIV/AIDS is also a class and political issue involving power relations in which women are often losers.

Given that women have special information needs, it is important for communication agents to specifically target women with appropriate information for HIV/AIDS prevention.

The full involvement of women in the entire communication process, is one effective way of doing this, from conceiving the type of information required, up to its generation and dissemination in usable formats. To this end, grassroots communication channels such as song, drama, role-plays and initiation ceremonies be tapped more fully for the purpose. These are participatory and closer to the people and belong to them; they break the isolation of women and women can enjoy playing active roles both as communicators and audience, they have few literary requirements, messages can be in the vernacular language and can be scheduled by the local community to accommodate their time requirements.

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HIV/AIDS and People with Special Needs

E. M. Busang, M. O. Biakolo and K. Mpuang

HIV/AIDS has been identified as the most deadly disease in Botswana and Africa in general. In order to combat this arch-enemy, awareness programmes, general education and counseling services have been put in place. Despite this, one group of the population, special needs people ( the blind, the deaf and mentally retarded) have been left out in all these efforts.

Therefore, this paper intends to identify types of disabilities and concentrate on this specific population. The place of the special needs population in relation to HIV/AIDS education and counseling will be extensively discussed. Other related issues such as gender and discrimination would be determined as well. Presentation would be based on literature review, interviews and general observation as well as the experiences of special needs people.

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Performative Speech in Popular Theatre on AIDS

Ola Johansson

African popular theatre must sometimes stand in for and renew ritual practices when unaccustomed afflictions emerge. Performances dealing with the cultural contingency of the AIDS pandemic is indeed one such case. Ritual is commonly defined in contrast to theatre along a functional continuum, as theatre is said to be confined to saying things about social relationships, while ritual also does things with them. However, this general notion presupposes that theatre is a mere representation of a fictional plot, whereas rituals serve a direct and pragmatic purpose in communities. In this paper I will suggest thattheatre on AIDS can serve a "ritual" function if speech is considered a form of action, and if appropriate consideration is given to the topical situation of the speech-acts in theatrical events.

In John L. Austin's speech-act theory, language is regarded as a set of

communicative functions with which you do things. Austin's contemporary, Ludwig Wittgenstein, similarly held that words are deeds, meant to be performed in particular situations. Hence, counter to traditional Western philosophy, where language has commonly been used as a subjective means to mirror the world, and more in line with traditional African notions, with its community based notion of the self and its expressive means, Austin and Wittgenstein look upon language as a shared cultural practice that bind together people's way of living.

Inasmuch as language serves various purposes--depending on who is saying what to whom, and when and where this interaction is taking place--speech situations are always staged to a certain degree. Any speech situation involves social actors who play more or less empowered roles within cultural settings where public policies regulate the outcome of the contingent plots. This diversified, pragmatic and site-specific semantics entails ethical responsibilities. If language is evaluated according to its use, its abuse must also be examined. Judith Butler and other feminist critics, including some prominent African scholars, have enhanced speech-act theory by linking it to power discourses that are repeatedly used to stigmatize people due to their ethnicity or gender. Such societal stigma has also marked AIDS victims, in various Western as well as African


In virtue of their contrived settings and artistic enactments, theatre

projects on AIDS can stage the underlying power relations as well as the particular interactions involved in the pandemic. However, theatrical events should not be disregarded because they are constructed. As already mentioned, any event can be viewed as a constructed situation; thus it is also a scholarly obligation to interpret the performative meaning and impact of official speech-acts in regard to issues about AIDS.

By taking examples from the international theatre and dance festival of

Bagamoyo (Tanzania) in the fall of 2001--called "AIDS--Break the

Silence"--I wish to show that theatre not only can say things about social relationships, but also do things with them. For what the audience saw and heard at some of those performances had not been said before, and therefore involved an ethical bond to enact the alarming pleas.

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There is a Snake between the Sheets! A Critical Analysis of two Zimbabwean Documentaries and a Poetry Collection on HIV/AIDS.

Mufaro Gunduza

Aids is one of the fastest growing epidemics in the world,Southern Africa being one of the hardest hit regions.In1998 alone aids accounted for every five deaths in Zimbabwe.One in every four people along the streets of Harare is believed to be HIV-positive.This paper analyses the ways in which Zimbabwean people have suddenly come out in the open to discuss the golgothic subject of aids even in their literary works.It critiques the dynamics of aids communication inTodii?(what shall we do?) (by Oliver Mtukudzi),a popular musician,Getting Real(by Jethro Mpofu),a broadcaster and We are the herb(co-edited by M.T.Vambe&M.L.Gunduza),which is a collection of poems,stories and drama on aids.I have selected these three creative works because they offer fress insights and a unique contribution by young men and women in colleges,universities and those in the mainstream society with a vision to see the world a better place to live in.The paper examines the complex ways in which this somewhat once forbidden subject is philosophised upon and the sort of solutions that are being offered.

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Proverbs and HIV/AIDS

Dr. Yisa Kehinde Yusuf and Dr. Joyce T. Mathangwane

Proverbs are relatively short, generally witty, often-repeated, traditional or experience-based expressions which are usually associated with wisdom and are used to perform a variety of social functions. Due to their relative shortness, they are appreciably memorable. This memorability is facilitated by their wit which derives from, among other sources, alliteration, rhythm, rhyme, parallelism, ellipsis, repetition, contrast, simile, metaphor, personification, pun, paradox, allusion and striking imagery. Their memorability and recallability enhance their value as instruments of socialisation and, in particular, their significance as strategies for instructing, explicating, advising, praising, admonishing, consoling, encouraging, and so on. In fact, about the importance of proverbs, the famous proverb scholar Archer Taylor (1994: 9) notes as follows: “Proverbs give us as clear an idea as we can hope to get about the forces that influence [people] and the ideals that they hold… In difficult situations [people] turn to proverbs for answers, and they find them there”.

Considering the above-mentioned characteristics of proverbs, the proposed paper intends to relate a collection of English, Yoruba and Ikalanga proverbs to the overwhelming problem of HIV/AIDS. Specifically, the paper seeks to examine how the proverbs are relatable to (i) the campaign against HIV/AIDS, (ii) living with HIV/AIDS, and (iii) HIV/AIDS caregiving. The data for the study would come from English, Yoruba and Ikalanga, because AIDS is a problem of global concern. The English proverbs are therefore expected to give insight into the HIV/AIDS-related dimension of a Western language, the Yoruba proverbs of southwestern Nigeria would give a West African perspective on the issue, and the Ikalanga proverbs of Botswana would provide a southern African insight, since similar or corresponding proverbs can be found in slightly or widely divergent cultures.

Each of the proverbs collected for the study would be analysed for its phonological, lexical, syntactic, discoursal, rhetorical and pragmatic features, and the pragmatic aspect of the analyses would be carried out from the background of the Speech Act theory. It is expected that the study would provide further insights into the linguistic and communicative aspects of understanding, preventing, fighting, and coping with HIV/AIDS and point the way to potential, related studies of the phenomena in other languages and environments.

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The Public Terms of Engagement around HIV/AIDS: Power, Representation and Activism

Wende Elizabeth Marshall and Jesse Weaver Shipley

This panel proposes to examine representations and public discourses of African HIV/AIDS in South Africa in terms of how the epidemic (re)figures global relations of power, identity and difference. As globalization (re)defines the relationship between the nation-state and capitalism, discourses of HIV/AIDS link a politics of difference and inequality, reframing old political battles such as the ìdevelopmentî of Africa, and the post-apartheid politics of race in new terms. Discourses on HIV/AIDS become the terms through which identity is negotiated and represented. These discourses are not only about disease, medicine and healing, but now define a particular postcolonial political terrain.

One paper addresses representations of southern African politics and controversies around HIV/AIDS as manifest in the American press. The other paper looks at the ways in which post-apartheid activism and representations of HIV/AIDS in South Africa address national politics and global corporate concerns in terms of the history of Apartheid era political opposition. These two papers are linked in the ways in which they show how Apartheid era relations of race and class are re-inscribed through post-Apartheid relations of power. They also both consider from different angles the complex relationship between how HIV/AIDS discourse and the mobilization of resources around the epidemic.

While there is a newly emergent Black middle class, which has achieved some degree of economic success, many of the social and economic inequalities of the apartheid era continue to grow.

However, political activism can no longer address these social concerns through the clear-cut oppositions of the apartheid era. This paper examines how HIV/AIDS discourses become sites where difference and inequality are re-inscribed through: the racially and class marked manifestations of the epidemic; the state and corporate allocation of resources to address the epidemic; and the terms through which activism and their media representation are focused. but rather have been considered in terms of developing forms of identity which cut across older oppositional politics while simultaneously drawing on many of the symbols and strategies of that era. I argue that HIV/AIDS discourse as manifest in media representations and protest politics is part of the redefinitions of identity and community in the context of the shifting postcolonial South African political economy.

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Harmonising the HIV/AIDS Race Issue: Towards an African Perspective

M W Maila

The HIV/AIDS pandemic is a reality and it is seen in the entire world. It is definitely not a myth. Every day, month and year, governments, research institutions, churches, non-governmental organisations and community-based organisations are trying hard to come up with robust strategies to prevent and manage the scourge. So far, little seems to be working realistically and effectively. One of the factors negating and inhibiting an effective progress towards the minimisation of the spread of this dreadful disease are the perceptions of some people to see HIV/AIDS as a disease predominantly occurring in the black community. Thus the conviction that it is a black people’s problem. In this paper I argue that such perceptions are far from the truth and are irresponsible. HIV/AIDS is a national, international and therefore a global pandemic that infects and affects people of all walks of life, of any race. It is therefore critical that a diversity of methods are applied to respond and provide necessary data about the disease. In this paper, qualitative research techniques are perceived to be appropriate. Numerous documents, and data collected through semi-structured interviews and structured questionnaires will be used. To analyse the data, interpretive-interactionism orientation will be applied. I hope to be able to explore this research question adequately and provide information that will de-racialize HIV/AIDS, provide unbiased, down to earth facts about HIV/AIDS and race, and strengthen the prevention and management strategies of and about HIV/AIDS. I therefore argue in this paper that such knowledge and understanding about HIV/AIDS as a black man’s scourge will not only give all people the opportunity to talk about the disease, but will probably minimise such narrow minded and irresponsible views in our communities. It is perhaps only when all people see a disease like HIV/AIDS as their problem, that they will all put their undivided efforts to put a stop to it.

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The Representation of AIDS in Political Cartoons

David Wigston

Using a sample drawn from the period 1988 * 2001, the purpose of this study is to discover how AIDS and the various actors associated with the disease have been represented in political cartoons published in the major South African newspapers. Political cartoons use signs and symbolism as a form of shorthand to sum up a particular situation or event. For example, a skeletal image draped in a cloak is used to represent the mortality of the AIDS epidemic. Certain cartoonists use particular symbols again and again with variations, but signs and symbols do change, with new ones appearing as old ones disappear. While symbols may be the cartoonist's shorthand, satire, parody and paradox, amongst many other techniques, are the tools used to shape those signs and symbols. While satire, parody or paradox may denotatively be humourous and playful, the underlying connotative message can be serious and at times even vicious. But, supporting those denotative and connotative messages is a particular ideology that needs to be exposed. The reason for this lies in the function of political cartoons. They serve an important function as editorials, providing an insight into a certain situation or event. As a visual image, cartoons can instantly make a point that would be difficult to say in written text and often leave a lasting impressions on the reader, simply because of the use of the superficial use of humour. In this way, the political cartoon becomes an icon of popular culture in the mass media, where the reader is confronted with a number of social issues that otherwise would be ignored. In order to analyse the cartoons selected for this study, a model originally devised by de Nagy Koves Hrabar in her study of South African political cartoons will be adapted and then applied to the sample. This model is ideal given the extensive use of, and heavy reliance on, various signs in political cartoons. The model makes use of semiotic codes such a sign system based on iconic, indexical and symbolic elements within the cartoon. The analytical model is based on the triptych model of communication, which incorporates the roles played by the communicator, the message/medium and the reader. The theoretical foundations for the study are provided by Roland Barthes' three levels of signification (that is denotation, connotation and myth or ideology), Pierce's concept of sign systems and Claude Lévi-Strauss' binary opposition. The objectives for the study include the following aspects:

* an analysis of the various codes used to depict AIDS and associated actors in AIDS-related political cartoons

* to analyse the role played by perception in the interpretation of cartoons

* to establish the connotative and mythological meanings generated in those cartoons

* to compare the various messages contained in political cartoons relating to AIDS

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Can HIV/AIDS Be Contained? The Role of Mass Media as a Powerful Communication Strategy

Eunice Ivala and Lucy Kithome

To date, public health education programmes have raised levels of awareness about the nature and mode of transmission of HIV/AIDS among Kenyans to over 90 per cent (Wangusi, 20001). However, it is regrettable that this high awareness level has not been successful in bringing about behaviour change in the society. This is partly attributed to the fact that the information imparted on the people has been paralysing, confusing and not empowering at all. Therefore, this paper will look at how the Kenyan media, in particular, Television and newspapers are utilised in the HIV/AID campaign. A content analysis of Kenya Broadcasting Television prime time news and the Daily Nation coverage of issues concerning HIV/AIDS will be carried out in Kenya for a period of three months. Then the results of this research will be analysed and presented to show a picture of the kind of information passed on to the people.

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The Role of Theology and Church in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS in Botswana

Moji Ruele

More than twenty years since HIV/AIDS was scientifically discovered, it has clearly shown its all-reaching devastating, in all aspects and department of human lives. The church being a community of compassion, care and healing has been challenged to give hope, and support, to the infected and affected. Yet it is evidently clear that the epidemic has found the church and theology unprepared to minister effectively to the suffering and the needy members of our societies. The has been demonstrated by a theology of illness, fear, “the thou holier than thou attitude” and less care which has added to the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. The church is therefore more challenged than ever before to develop a theology of life based response and care which would allow it to preach and minister the word of God to the suffering.

Given that HIV/AIDS is a disease that is oppressive, subjecting many to social rejection and poverty, the paper sets out show how contextual theology i.e. theology done from the socio-economic, cultural and religious context of the people can help the church contribute positively in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

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Schools' Drama Projects, Youth and HIV/AIDS Crisis: The Southern African Experience

Dr. Patrick Ebewo

Of all the killer diseases known to man, HIV/AIDS has become the most dreadful terror of our time. According to United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) statistics, the estimated number of adults and children infected with HIV during the year 2000 stood at 5.3 million, with Sub-Saharan Africa topping the list -- 3.8 million. Millions of people, especially people from Africa and from other developing countries have already died of AIDS.

Many and varied strategies have been put in place to stem further spread of the epidemic. In search for more effective method or in a bid to diversify existing instrument of information dissemination about AIDS, theatre/drama has been identified as effective medium, the use of which could produce significant results in the education of the people about the AIDS pandemic.

In the campaign against HIV/AIDS, this paper stresses the need for an appropriate and effective action to be taken to reduce the vulnerability of young people. Targetting and protecting the youth against the disease is a priority every sector should concentrate on. This paper examines schools' drama initiatives in the fight against AIDS. Four countries in Southern Africa are considered: South Africa (The Dramaide Project), Uganda (SYFA -- Safeguard Youth From AIDS Project) and other AIDS awareness projects in Lesotho and Swaziland schools. The paper sees schools' drama projects as significant in building the capacity of educational institutions by sharing knowledge about the killer disease. The success story of Uganda in reducing rate of infection is recommended for emulation by other countries in the sub-region. Lastly, the paper investigates some of the problems which work against drama projects in the education of people about HIV/AIDS.

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Silences and Taboos in Discourses on HIV/AIDS in Tanzania

Hansjoerg Dilger

It has often been emphasised that cultural and moral discourses play an essential role in shaping individual and communal perceptions and practices in the context of AIDS. However, not much attention has been given to those forms of discursive practice that are less explicit and that are easily overseen: to silences and rumours which have become an important part of discourses on the epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. In Tanzania, where 11% of the adult population are infected with HIV, AIDS has become a massive and visible problem throughout the country; in most families, one or even more relatives have died from HIV. Still, discourses about concrete cases of illness within families and communities centre seldom directly on ‘AIDS’. Drawing on extensive field research in rural and urban Tanzania (in Dar es Salaam and among the Luo in Mara Region) the author describes how rumours and silences - as well as discourses on other causes of illness like witchcraft or chira - have become an integral part of the lives of people with HIV/AIDS, as well as of their families and their social surroundings in general.

The tendency to remain silent is reinforced not only by the strong moral views Tanzanian society holds on HIV/AIDS, but also by the medical practice and the counselling work of hospitals. Positive test results are only in the rarest case given directly to the HIV patients themselves - even if this should be the case according to the official medical law of Tanzania. In the rural research area, in 90% of all cases it was the relatives who were first informed by the hospital about the illness of their family member. The families, for their part, are mostly inclined not to tell their relatives about the diagnosis. Instead, as they often silently abandon their sick family members and leave them to themselves, silences are also at the base of the ways in which care and support are given by family members. Those who know about their serostatus, on the other hand, do not inform their relatives or their partners about their infection for fear of being rejected. Thus, conversations on, and dealing with, concrete cases of HIV/AIDS within families follow the mutual interest not to mention AIDS as the actual cause of illness. These conversations are instead shaped by discourses on witchcraft or chira - which is caused by the breaking of a taboo - and/or by rumours in the extended family and silent, yet meaningful glances. The author concludes by showing how silences and rumours, as well as discourses on alternative causes of illness may be taken into account for the future work of hospitals and AIDS organisations, but also of social science researchers.

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Social and Cultural Consequences of HIV/AIDS in Botswana and Namibia

Stella Rundle, Matthias Rompel and Georgia A. Rakelmann

We carried out a research project about the social and cultural consequences of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Botswana and Namibia - in Botswana in close co-operation with the Supa-Ngwao Museum Centre in Francistown.

With ethnological methods (attendant observation and open interviews) we followed the theme in various environments: rural and urban sites, with younger and elder Batswana, in schools, among the staff of companies, with members of the public health care as well as with caring family members and AIDS patients themselves, and last not least with professionals from the sphere of modern and traditional medicine.

n the talks three interpretations of the plague and/or its manifestations came to light; a modern way of thinking, closely connected with the discourse of modernisation, a Christian, linked to the missionary and african churches and an autochthonous in the context of subsistent ways of life.

he interpretations were not seldom situative and in a process of interaction. The process of localisation of the delocated concept of the plague was obviously.

To find out more about the various narrations about the disease (and to encourage Batswana to write about the topic) we carried out two competitions in Supa-Ngwao Museum Francistown: an essay competition under the title: "AIDS IN MY COMMUNITY" and a short story competition under the title: "AIDS IN MY HOME, AIDS IN MY NEIGHBOURHOOD".

More than 100 (English written) texts were sent in; the authors were mainly between teenage and their fifties, their professions and occupations ranged from school students to watchmen, cookers and attorneys.

With 30 of the stories we compilated a book which pre-edition was handed over to the participants of a conference on occasion of World AIDS Day at Supa-Ngwao Museum beginning of month. The final edition is in preparation and will be added with the results from a painting competition for youth - again about: "THE FACES OF AIDS".

We would like to participate in your conference with a team of three:

Stella Rundle, Director of Supa-Ngwao Museum / Francistown, Matthias Rompel, Member of the AIDS Research Project at the Institute of Sociology, Giessen. (Research assistant for Namibia) and myself: Georgia A. Rakelmann, responsible proponent of the AIDS Research Project / Giessen - and introduce the results of our project concerning the discourses and narrations of AIDS and to introduce the compilation of essays and shot stories written by Batswana about the topic.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Mrs. J.J. Phumaphi, Minister of Health has hold out the prospect to be present for our presentation of the story book at the conference.

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The Socio-Cultural Contexts of HIV/AIDS Transmission in Kenya

Eunice Ivala and Lucy Kithome

HIV/AIDS sets in motion a vicious cycle which is threatening the very survival of the world’s people. It is killing people in their most productive years, increasing poverty, reversing gains made in education, lowering labour productivity, threatening food security and slowing economic growth. It is saddening to learn that one of every eight people afflicted with Aids lives in sub-Saharan Africa, where in some countries 10 per cent of the population is HIV-positive. In some nations, such as Rwanda, the HIV rate in large towns and cities is as high as 25 percent. Many other countries such as Kenya, where over 700 people die daily from AIDS (Kiiru, 2001), have struggled to convince people that some traditions may also be deadly. Therefore , this paper will address the socio-cultural factors that enhance the spread of HIV/AIDS with Kenya as a case study.

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Cultural Factors in the Spread and Management of HIV/AIDS

Jabulani Sithole

Facts about the spread of HIV/AIDS supplied and well documented indicated that heterosexual relations have predominantly supported the spread of the virus. However specific factors that are at play in these relationships are not widely alluded too, such factors are culture, gender and economics to name a few.

This paper will identify and explore in detail the different cultural factors that contribute to the political economy of the virus, causing its wide spread in the region. Cultural factors at play can be divided into two broad categories of mentifacts (those that relate to the mind) and socio-facts (those that relate to the wide social setup).

Mentifacts or the cultural factors that relate to the mind and are mostly those that are related to the socialization processes of the different communities. Aspects to consider here relate to the gender representations, expectations and gender treatment, such as male dominance, power and control aspects in the heterosexual relationships.

Gender inequalities in the region subordinates women to men, refusing them the right to negotiate for safe sex, subjects them to men’s promiscuity, making them accept that man should have extra-marital affairs in a marriage setup or accept that boys can have as many sexual partners at any given time as they want.

Socio-facts are equally significant in the spread of the virus, these relate to the social practices that expose people to HIV/AIDS such as unsafe male and female circumcision, dry sex, widow inheritance and such other practices.

Cultural and religious sensitivities with regard to sexuality and sexual behaviour tends to promote acquiescence to risky sexual practices and the avoidance of protective strategies like the use of condoms.

Also to be considered by the paper will be the weakening social safety nets through a breakdown of the traditional socialization agency of aunts and uncles depriving young people of reliable, safe and loving source/environment for learning about sexualityand safe sexual behaviours.

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HIV/AIDS Stigma in Zambia

David Chipanta

This presentation describes stigma related to HIV/AIDS in Zambia, its types, the context in which it occurs, actions that result out of it and its impact on individuals and communities’ participation in social economic activities particularly HIV/AIDS prevention and mitigation efforts. It will also outline some of the social economic, political, cultural, religious and epidemiological factors involved in the formation of stigma. Besides describing the coping measures against stigma, the presentation will also show that stigma reduction hinges on changing perceptions about HIV/AIDS and enhancing individual and community power relations. The material for the discussion is from literature review relating to the subject and the author’s observations in Zambia and Africa during his nine years of AIDS activism.

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Talking HIV/AIDS: Public Health Campaign and the Use of Nigerian Pidgin.

Professor Ogo A. Ofuani

The HIV/AIDS pandemic has been described as an international non-racial, non-sexist, non-class dreadful killer. The Mail and Guardian (South Africa) reports that the estimated worldwide HIV infection rate by Thursday November 22, 2001, by 13H10, is at 44, 279, 180 (forty-four million, two hundred and seventy-nine thousand, one hundred and eighty) persons. While some African nations have remained in a continued state of shocked psychological denial about the pervasive devastation of the disease, many others have recognized its deadly consequences and commenced pro-active campaigns to contain the disease. While an AIDS cure may not be purchasable ‘over the counter’ in the next few years, health campaigners believe that the disease’s containment could be hastened through better planned and executed HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns.

According to a report in the Guardian Online (Nigeria) of Tuesday December 4, 2001 (<>), the first case of AIDS in Nigeria was diagnosed in 1986 in a foreign prostitute. The Nigerian government, the public and non-governmental organizations are perturbed by the global HIV/AIDS scourge as well as the increasing rise in levels of infection in the country. Intensified campaigns on the fatal consequences of the disease, which a UNAIDS report put at an estimated national prevalence rate in Nigeria of 5.4 per cent, have begun in the media, NGOs, educational and health institutions, and religious bodies. Several of Nigeria’s over 250 languages are being used in the awareness campaigns.

This paper discusses the effort of Nigerians in talking HIV/AIDS, specifically through the medium of Nigerian Pidgin. Pidgin is reputedly the most widely use non-ethnic lingua franca in the country and this characteristic places it in a special position of advantage to reach the widest proportion of the populace in spreading preventive and management information. By 1999, Nigeria had an estimated population of about 120 million citizens. More than half this figure use and understand Pidgin in its different regional variations. We, therefore, not only discuss the status of Nigerian Pidgin but also assess the level of its adoption, use and effectiveness in educating the populace.

The sources of data include newspapers, radio and television advertisements and programmes, billboards, fliers and brochures, home videos, documentaries, and other medical literature. It considers the reach of each medium, the adaptation of orthography in written texts, how technical terminology have been provided for, through coinages and other related word-formation processes, for ‘HIV/AIDS’, ‘condoms’, ‘anti-retroviral drugs’, and all other technical HIV/AIDS related literature. It also considers the extent of the HIV/AIDS literacy awareness through the provision of information Nigerians require to respond creatively to people living with HIV/AIDS - in the family, workplace, and community.

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The Topic Sexuality in AIDS-Prevention-Measures in Burkina Faso

Carsten Steinmetz

This presentation deals with linguistic and communicational aspects of AIDS-prevention-campaigns for peer educators in the west-African Burkina Faso.

On the basis of video-recordings and transcriptions of the verbal interaction in instruction courses, the taboo-theme sexuality and its related subjects, such as sexually transmitted diseases will be analysed. The methodological basis of my exploration will be the structurally oriented conversation-analysis combined with the more context-open concept of the ethnography of communication.

The issue of sexuality represents for many Burkinabe a highly tabooed subject that tends to be banned from public discourse. AIDS-prevention-campaigns since the early 90s, however, are based on a western-oriented, biomedical conception of disease and health, that contradicts in many ways indigenous medical and/or moral concepts. From the western biomedical point of view, it is indispensable to address openly the issue of sexuality in order to be able to provide an explanation of AIDS and its transmission.

Peer-educators represent important mediators between the medical conceptions of the official health services and those of the diverse ethnic groups. In instruction courses of peer-educators, however, it becomes evident that even in this group it can be difficult to talk openly about sexuality and sexuality related issues. Also, diffuse ideas about AIDS and its transmission which often differ strongly from western biomedicine can be found in these groups.

Applying the method of conversation-analysis to class-room sequences I will provide a detailed description of the interactive and communicative processes. I will direct my special attention to the face-work-strategies as well as to the beginning, the progress and - eventually - the solution of conflicts emerging out of the clashes of different medical and/or moral concepts. I will also discuss in which way the results given by conversation analysis can contribute to the improvement of AIDS-campaigns.

The particular class-room context plays a significant role in the form that these interactive-communicative processes have. Therefore, I will have authentic examples of different class-room situations (team-work, class-room discussion) in order to show how the issue of sexuality is treated.

Applying conversation-analysis to the exploration of African speech-data has been a neglected spot in linguistic scholarship. This is particularly true for AIDS-prevention-campaigns, that have never been analysed with this method. Conversation analysis and the ethnography of communication can yield important basic information for the development of culturally adequate curricula and education material.

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The Maid and HIV/AIDS Infections: The Economic and Ethical Perspectives.

Joseph Gaie and Innocent Botshelo

Every family or at least a majority of families in major towns, cities, and villages have enjoyed or continue to enjoy the services of a housemaid or housekeeper. Unlike their counter parts in government and corporations housemaids do not seem to have the benefits that others enjoy. Yet they remain a big part of our families while we enjoy the benefits of the big corporations in the form of knowledge about the disease, medical aid and better hospital services. This paper will look at ways in which the maid is disadvantaged economically as compared to other workers. It will suggest how that could be solved. It will also look at the economic cost to the nation of the current strategy that does not directly address the maids as a solution to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. There is the moral aspect to these questions-is there a moral justification for the status quo to prevail? Who has the moral responsibility to change if necessary and what is the morally acceptable way?

New HIV/AIDS infections continue to occur despite the efforts made to change people’s attitudes. Different education systems have embarked on various strategies with the aim to reach many and thus warn them of the scourge.

Could it be that we are addressing the wrong population if we do not address the maids directly?

Could it be that caretakers in the formal set up (home-based care places) are more informed than others elsewhere?

The maid that prepares food for families cares for your babies and the sick running the risk of being infected and infecting other families. What about the welfare of the maid? When the maid took up the job did she/he get informed of the family’s status if it is or is not infected and were they asked of their HIV/AIDS status? What are the moral implications of these?

Without blaming the maids they are in general very mobile i.e. they move from one family to the other so often; they are generally low-income earners and majority of them are least educated. They are thus venerable to abuse by their employer and economically they are susceptible to manipulation unless backed by protective legislation. Even then they may not exercise their rights out of fear. How venerable is every body to the maid and yet the maid remains a faithful integral part of our families.

The paper will say that maids are not generally asked about their HIV/AIDS status neither are they told about the status of the family where they are working. This has both economic and moral implications that need to be addressed. Secondly, there is no law that protects neither them nor the families where they work. The current strategy against HIV/AIDS does not address the maids as a sizable and strategically significant sector of the population. This too has economic and moral implications.

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The Oliver Twist Syndrome: Orphans, HIV and Community Drama in Botswana

Gloria Jacques

Dickensian descriptions of I9th Century English social care inspired the creation of the foundations of modern social work professional practice. Oliver Twist, the literary encapsulation and dramatisation of the plight of orphans and the need for social action in this regard, has direct relevance to African scenarios in light of HIV prevalence and increasing mortality rates. The paper makes the connection between the effect of English literature on social response in that country and the Botswana situation regarding community drama and orphan care. The effectiveness of presentation in relation to influence on target populations is discussed with special reference to sensitive issues such as HIV/AIDS and its concomitant problems.

The acceptability of dramatic method in relation to positive behavioural change is examined with emphasis on the rapid dislocation of social conditions affecting relationships and other life factors. The need for appropriate care for orphans in the new millennium is viewed against the backdrop of traditional Motswana custom and normative behavioural standards. Historical use of song, dance, and story telling is examined in relation to modern conditions and changing social realities.

Community drama, as an approach facilitating influence, is analysed as a touchstone for reconstruction of negative social functioning. Programmes for orphan care in the Botswana situation are discussed as reality, in the planning stage, and as visions for the future. The development of community drama as a response to the current (and future) crisis is debated with possible recommendations for its course and enhancement. The paper concludes with a summary of the issues of literature, drama, HIV/AIDS and orphan care and their relationship to one another and the future of the Motswana nation.

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The Status of HIV/AIDS and Education Research in South Africa

Dr Cycil Hartell

Despite an increasing level of policy actions and practical interventions in the field of HIV/AIDS in South Africa, there appears to be very little educational research on the subject. Yet, what is being written could be crucial in informing the course and impact of the disease, and how its effects can be systematically addressed. This is especially the case with respect to educational research and publications. At a glance, it appears that available writing tends to emphasize the biomedical aspects of the disease, or a narrow HIV/AIDS Education focus (that is, how better to spread the “aids message” among youth or other vulnerable communities). But in order to generate a systematic HIV/AIDS and Education research focus, it is first of all crucial to have a clear sense of what is being researched and published (however limited) in South Africa today. Such an inquiry could have longitudinal research spin-offs (that is, tracing ongoing research and writing from a 2001 baseline estimate) and could form the basis for regular publications (e.g. a “HIV/AIDS and Education Research Monitor”).

This is a comprehensive and critical synthesis of the research literature on HIV/AIDS and Education in South Africa. Accordingly, the main research question for this particular research can be described as follows:

What is the Status of Research on HIV/AIDS and Education in South Africa?

The subsidiary questions within this broader inquiry are the following:

-What is the status of the knowledge base on HIV/AIDS and Education?

-What are the major strengths in the existing research corpus?

-What are the major shortcomings in the existing knowledge base?

-What are the implications of the literature survey and assessment for future research on HIV/AIDS and Education?

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HIV/AIDS Discourse: A Theological/Religious Perspective

Peter Mageto

Early in the AIDS epidemic most people had a simplistic view of the illness and its sufferers, treatment options were few and largely ineffectual. Long-term survival was unknown, change has come slowly. Today we hear voices about “living with AIDS” and we read about a growing number of long-term AIDS survivors. AIDS has become a challenge to battle, an occasion for healing, an invitation to explore or engage every spiritual resource the church, the mosque, our culture, or any individual can muster into service. Today, more than ever before, the AIDS epidemic raises a broad spectrum of life situations with a wide range of pastoral and spiritual implications.

Indeed, problems often arise when religious groups, having taken the position that they cannot or must not condone certain behaviors that their particular tradition considers to be immoral, nonetheless feel a strong scriptural mandate to carry out “works of mercy” for the sick, the suffering and the dying. Experience suggests that every religious tradition has pastors, counselors, and chaplains who are able to minister with compassion and sensitivity, as well as those who will almost certainly deliver a message of guilt, judgment, outright condemnation. It is clear, of course, that people who are sick, dying or bereaved should be shielded as much as possible from proselytizing, judgmentalism or intrusion on their weakest points of their lives.

What this article aims to offer is a theological/Religious perspective that is governed by compassion and thoroughly rooted in the good news of love. It is a call to re-examine the essence of care, prevention and support at all levels of our life-stages, but especially where HIV/AIDS is the cause. Following this discourse, I will examine how HIV?AIDS has become a challenge, an occasion and an invitation whereby religious groups in Africa can muster spiritual resources into service of prevention and care that is well rooted in compassion through love.

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HIV/AIDS Discourse: Ethics of Shared Responsibility Toward the Orphaned Children

Peter Mageto

The family is a significant unit in African communities socially, economically, spiritually and politically. The family is the essence of existence and the back bone of society. One’s life depends on the life of other persons and other beings. But this type of life is now threatened with such high numbers of orphaned children. Their is a crack in the family unit, and the impact is growing daily.

The Black philosophy of “I am Because we are” is the basis of my call toward an ethic of shared responsibility. The Ethics of Shared Responsibility is the ability to respond in the exigency to another’s questioning. It arises out of the need not merely to speak and to act responsively but more out of the need to give an account to others why we should respond to them the way we ought to do. It is an ethic of respecting, listening and accepting one another the way they are. I will therefore, examine how this ethics of shared responsibility calls us toward the orphaned children. It is not that, they are only in need of material and spiritual services, but that the society needs them as much as they need the society. I will show how this ethic calls us remember that to be human means how we relate to each other for the sake of each other’s well being. It is in strengthening the family unit that HIV/AIDS discourse can be understood, tamed and possible care and prevention can take place.

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Tswana Speaking Students' Perception of HIV/AIDS and Poverty

Paul Schutte

The core of the paper can be summarised in the following overarching question:

What are Tswana speaking students’ perceptions of the causal relationship between HIV/AIDS and poverty? The paper also endeavours to answer the following specific questions:

Is poverty a direct cause of HIV/AIDS or just a “catalytic agent” for HIV/AIDS?

If poverty is a “catalytic agent”, in which ways does it promote HIV/AIDS.

What should be done about the HIV/AIDS problem?

Who should be responsible for HIV/AIDS related programmes?

How does the youth perceive abstinence and/or fidelity and/or the use of condoms in the prevention of HIV/AIDS?

How do they perceive the current approaches to HIV/AIDS prevention in light of their views of the relationship between poverty and HIV/AIDS?

Method: First to third year Tswana speaking students (n=150) at tertiary institutions who take English as one of their courses have been asked to write an essay of 200-500 words on the topic: Poverty is the cause of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in South Africa. Students from the North West University, Mafikeng; from the Potchefstroom Teachers College; and from the Northern Cape Teachers College in Kimberley were involved.

A qualitative content analysis has been applied to the essays. According to Bauer & Gaskell (2000:132) (Qualitative Researching with text, image and sound) researchers tend to underevaluate textual materials as data. The text corpus is the representation and expression of a community that writes, and in this case, it is the expression of Tswana speaking youth about the important HIV/AIDS issues as they perceive the problem.

Content analysis has been used since it allows the researcher to construct indicators of a respondent’s views, values, attitudes, opinions and stereotypes with regard to HIV/AIDS and to compare these with the views, etc of other respondents. Comparison reveals similarities as well as “differences” that could be a sign of the ambiguity that exists and the contradicting messages that the youth receive with regards to the cause and prevention of HIV/AIDS in general, and the causal relationship between poverty and HIV/AIDS specifically. This is not a purely descriptive study that counts the frequency of all the coded features, but a normative analysis that makes comparisons between the coded features of the respondents.

Although the analysis is not yet complete, the following cryptic perceptions have been identified: (The findings and guidelines will be discussed in more detail at the conference, provided the paper be accepted.)

Most respondents have the perception that poverty and HIV/AIDS are closely related. The nature of the relations differ, though. Many think that poverty is the direct cause of HIV/AIDS while a few think that poverty is not causally related to HIV/AIDS. Most indicate that poverty leads to certain behaviour which causes HIV/AIDS, for example prostitution. In general, most think that the pandemic is serious, that awareness campaigns must be given more frequently, especially in rural areas, and that the Government, both national and provincial, must invest more money for programmes and initiatives to eradicate poverty.

The findings confirm that ambiguity and contradicting perceptions exist. This information would give agencies who want to implement HIV/AIDS programmes in secondary and tertiary institutions guidelines on where to put the focus and how to choose and phrase material to address knowledge gaps and misconceptions. Thus, the agencies can adjust their messages and strategies to communicate more effectively with their target audiences.

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Women and HIV/AIDS in Kenya: Sexual Behaviour and the Factors Influencing Safer Sex Practices.

Joyce W. Kimani

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has become a serious health and development problem in many countries around the world, particularly in Africa. The Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) estimated that by the end of the year 2000, about 36.1 million people globally - 34.7 million adults and 1.4 million children younger than 15 years, were living with HIV/AIDS. More than 70 percent of these people (25.3 million) live in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In Kenya the true number of AIDS cases is not known because not all AIDS cases are reported to the Ministry of Health. However it is estimated that in 1998, there were about 1.9 million people infected with HIV/AIDS including about 100,000 children. It has been projected that the number of infected people would increase to 2.2 million by the end of 2000 and 3.0 million by 2005 (NASCOP, 1999). Everyday about 500 Kenyans die of AIDS. The major mechanism of HIV transmission in Kenya is heterosexual contact, which accounts for 75 percent for all infections. This is followed in importance by prenatal transmission. HIV/AIDS infection levels are extremely high for girls and young women. This is the economically active age group and therefore it has serious implications for the Kenyan economy (NASCOP, 1999).

It has been pointed out that a high level of awareness of HIV/AIDS has been achieved in Kenya since 1984 when the first case of AIDS was identified. There is also a high level of HIV/AIDS knowledge and the basic mechanisms for transmission. However, despite the high level of knowledge of HIV/AIDS, risky sexual behaviour is still rampart. One way of preventing HIV infection among the population is by having safer sex, which is construed to mean condom use (Nzioka, 1993:12). The government has recognised use of condoms as a major way of preventing HIV/AIDS infection among the population. Studies have found that a big percentage of the population do not use condoms (Onyango and Walji, 1992; Kenya Health and Demographic survey 1998). This paper discusses women’s sexual behaviour and the factors that influence condom use among them in Kenya, gender power being one of them. The paper concludes that prevention of HIV/AIDS among heterosexuals will require an examination of how traditional gender role socialization runs counter to safer sex practices. Control of the epidemic will require a focus on men as individuals responsible for the their own health and health of women.

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Zulu Oral Discourse as a Reflection of Entrenched Gender Stereotypes

Noleen Turner

Praises play a fundamental role in Zulu social and cultural life even in contemporary times. A young boy gets praises from his parents or from his age mates. As he grows older, his peers or others in his community who know him well, may bestow praises on him, or they can even be self composed. When parents give praises to their children, they are in actual fact, teaching them what to do and what to strive for. These izihasho (personal praises) are an instrument assisting people to internalize the social norms and values of their society, the acceptable practices and roles of behaviour, thus helping them to accept and understand their culture.Gunner in her book on popular Zulu praises makes the valid point that praises serve as a vehicle for contemporary consciousness, they "constantly create new attitudes and ideas, coin new words, comment on the present and therefore in a sense enable those who use them to control their environment". (1991:36) Thus the predominant qualities that are praised and highlighted in Zulu oral praise poetry particularly in the praises of males, are those which serve to reinforce the entrenchment of the acceptable male stereotype in contemporary times and settings, and this is reflected in the findings of Mamphele Ramphele (1989:165) who remarks that tradition - "a reconstruction of the past that is unchallengeable - is still used to support the system of male dominance."

The concept of hegemonic masculinity being a key element of patriarchy, together with the accepted custom of polygamy in Zulu culture, goes some way towards validating the acceptable figure of the isoka and its variant forms, a man pivotal to the needs of many women in his society, able to satisfy multiple lovers. What does provoke discussion and further research however, is the frightening statistics of AIDS which continually bombard us daily. LeClerc-Madlala in her research on this topic makes the salient point that:

"in addition to the apartheid legacies of poverty and socio-economic inequalities which compound tradition-based gender inequalities as key factors propelling the spread of Aids ......there are others such as ethnic, cultural and subgroup-related factors which shape different responses to HIV/AIDS, which may have different biological consequences in terms of continuing the epidemic."(1997:377)

Research into the oral poetry over the next 10 - 15 years may well reflect a shift in emphasis in terms of the focus of this form of contemporary expression. It will indeed be interesting to note whether a force such as AIDS is likely to influence the composition and popularity of the figure of the isoka in Zulu izihasho or personal oral poetry over the ensuing decade, and whether this form of popular expression, is indeed adapting to changing social conditions.This article is an initial attempt to stimulate debate and research in this area.

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AIDS in Burundi

E. Kana

Figures on HIV/AIDS in Africa are alarming. Thousands of people are dying every day. Hospitals cannot manage all the cases because of lack of medicine and staff. Thus, most of affected people are waiting for their death at home. Among people affected, many do not really know what is happening to them. Others know but do not make a link between the disease called AIDS and their situation. So they continue to have unprotected sexual relations. What happens in some regions and countries of Africa can be explained by cultural and economic factors, religious and traditional beliefs. In this paper we will talk about the case of Burundi.

Traditionally, Burundian were educated to be courageous. Moral strength was praised in many oral traditional genres such as songs, tales, poems and « amazina (1)». Courageous people are supposed to accept their Fortune. It is believed that Imana (2) chooses one’s destiny. This is part of Burundian traditional philosophy. This applies in the case of AIDS.

Sexuality is a taboo topic in Burundi. Everything related to that subject is not verbally mentioned. If it is, it is considered impolite. Terms related to sex can be used when insulting someone, because insults are a specific literally genre as such, mainly used by shepherds, known for their vulgarity. This makes it difficult to tackle the AIDS pandemic, since even the vocabulary to mention it causes difficulties.

Furthermore, Christian religion is still powerful in Burundi. For decades, schools were managed by clergymen and clergywomen. Thus, many generations have been taught that sexual intercourse between not married couples is a sin. In those conditions, it is impossible to talk about relations between men and women and other related topics such as AIDS. One of the dramatic and saddest consequences of that situation is the lack of dialogue between generations. Young people do not necessarily identify themselves neither to tradition nor religion. They engage in relationships while unprepared, and they cannot seek counselling on a « shameful » and « secret » topic. Neither their parents nor their educators can advise them. They are torn between tradition and modernity.

As in other modern societies, money has become very important in people’s lives. Burundian pursue material success while facing tragedies such as lack of education, poverty and war. They have so many things to worry about, so many burdens. This makes it difficult to tackle the HIV/ AIDS pandemic because it is part of a very complex problematic contingency.

Since 1993, many people have left their homes. Some adults have been killed. Others fled or went to fight. Familial cells have exploded. Thus, parents’ and elders’ authority which used to be the pillar of Burundian traditional education disappeared. In such a context of promiscuity and despair, people believe they have no future. They may die from AIDS, bullets, hunger or « panga (3)»


1 Kind of poems praising qualities such as generosity, courage or other qualities

2 Burundian traditionnally believed in Imana : God

3 machetes. They have been mainly used in the Burundian civil war

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Empowerment Through Inclusion: The Case of Women in the Discourses of Advertising in Botswana

V. Lunga

Success in the fight against HIV/AIDS is related to the degree to which women are acknowledged as and indeed become active stakeholders in the negotiation process of sex relations. As part of that awareness, advertisement campaigns in Botswana attempt to make room for the participation of women in the fight against HIV/AIDS by including women’s voices in the discourse around sex as significant actors in negotiation processes of sex and condoms. Using a critical approach the paper deconstructs notions of equity and assumptions of empowerment in order to expose the limits of the discourse of inclusion of women in public. Advertisements campaigns that seek to empower women in Botswana, while a useful beginning, are examined for the ways they perpetuate cultural attitudes and stereotypes as well as maintain male hegemony. As well, the paper suggests that the discourse of women empowerment and inclusion in sexual negotiations cannot be isolated from the socio-cultural, economic and psychological contexts of women.

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Modelling HIV Vaccination

Mohammed.O.Ibrahim and Jacob .A. Gbadeyan

An attempt is made in this paper to describe some mathematical models for the population dynamics of disease agents and the spatio-temporal spread of infections, such models can be extremely useful in vaccination for the control of directly transmitted infectious disease such as HIV/AIDS.

It has been observed that a number of people with HIV/AIDS are not well taken care of or the accurate statistics of the number of people with HIV/AIDS are not properly kept.

In an attempt to solve some of those problems, the government, hospital management and the society at large must have the accurate statistics of the people with HIV/AIDS these will enable the government to project their budget estimates in the area of health management, information and education of the people about the causes of HIV/AIDS and possibly develop a vaccine that will be capable of reducing the death rate.

At this juncture it is necessary to raise certain questions which may allow more light on what we intend to do in this study the questionnaire

(i) what is the population estimates for population subgroups by age and sex?

(ii) what is the estimated size of various risk groups?

(iii) what is the percentage of people infected within each of the various subgroups?

(iv) what are the interactive roles of the variables that affect the spread of the epidemic?

(v) what are the impact of HIV/AIDS on health, social, political, economic, religious sectors of the society?

All the models grapple with questions raised by the two special properties of HIV. these questions fall into two groups: those relating to the design and interpretation of clinical trials and those relating to the community-wide impact of a vaccine.

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Last updated 10 May 2002
Copyright © 2002 University of Botswana English Department.