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Broken condoms, corroded trust : the politics of HIV prevention in Namibia


Broken condoms, corroded trust : the politics of HIV prevention in Namibia

Rigillo, Nicole (2007) Broken condoms, corroded trust : the politics of HIV prevention in Namibia. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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MR34767.pdf - Accepted Version


This thesis examines the ways in which conceptions of "safe sex" through condom use differ between the targets, critics and promoters of HIV prevention strategies in urban Namibia. To this end, the author conducted interviews and participant observation among young people, Pentecostal religious leaders, and HIV prevention experts in Windhoek, Namibia's capital, between August and November 2006. Among these first two groups, the spread of what HIV prevention experts labelled as "rumours" or "myths" about condoms were found to be common. Young people perceived the safety of safe sex to be influenced by the brand and cost of condom used, while Pentecostal religious leaders instead questioned the safety of condoms in general, using scientific data and tapping into media outlets to challenge their promotion as a viable way of ending the HIV epidemic in Namibia. In contrast, HIV prevention experts largely conceived of safe sex as a rational choice made by individuals to either abstain, be faithful or use condoms, conceiving of anti-condom discourses as "rumours" or "myths" that could best be combated with the dissemination of biomedical information. I argue that such an approach does little to halt the spread of anti-condom discourses, since it neglects an acknowledgment of the social and historical factors specific to Namibia that have been shown elsewhere to both impact healthy behaviours, as well as to facilitate the spread of rumours targeting health interventions.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Rigillo, Nicole
Pagination:ix, 142 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hoodfar, Homa
ID Code:975569
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:10
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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