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Feminization of AIDS: Exploring the Sexual Culture in Malawi
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Malawi is severely affected by HIV/AIDS and women are disproportionately infected with the HIV virus. Ample resources have been directed towards HIV prevention efforts, with focus on spreading information and increasing knowledge of the disease in general and the transmission in particular. These efforts have been successful in the sense that HIV/AIDS awareness is almost universal in Malawi; however, a significant decrease in HIV prevalence has not followed. This study explores the sexual culture in Malawi and investigates whether it can contribute to an understanding of the feminization of HIV/AIDS. The traditional cultural practice kusasa fumbi is discussed in relation to sexual culture in order to demonstrate how contradictions might occur between people’s knowledge and their sexual behaviour. This will be done by analyzing previous academic literature and the sexual scripts theory will be applied in order to analyze sexual behaviour. This study finds that cultural scenarios are likely to contribute to an explanation to why there has not been a significant decrease in HIV prevalence, as well as why women are disproportionately infected with HIV. Clashes frequently occur between the cultural scenarios and the interpersonal scripting that guides interaction plays an important role when Malawians attempt to conform to socially accepted behaviour but at the same time survive.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 33 p.
Keyword [en]
HIV/AIDS, Malawi, sexuality, sexual scripts, masculinity, femininity
National Category
Cultural Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-254379OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-254379DiVA: diva2:818075
Subject / course
Cultural Anthropology
Available from: 2015-07-06 Created: 2015-06-08 Last updated: 2015-07-06Bibliographically approved

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