A Different kind of AIDS: Alternative explanations of HIV/AIDS in South African townships


Why do alternative, nonscientific explanations of HIV/AIDS continue to circulate in South Africa’s townships after almost 3 years of AIDS education? In A different kind of AIDS, David Dickinson explores the folk and lay theories that still circulate within township communities, despite extensive educational efforts and the availability of antiretroviral treatment. Dickinson’s investigations are in partnership with HIV/AIDS peer educators and alongside township residents; and he argues that these theories constitute a robust hydra of beliefs that underlies and supports the de facto plural health care system in South Africa. The book explores township life and language and includes a methodological manifesto aimed at social science research students. The endresult is essential reading for the academic and lay reader alike, and a deeply sympathetic portrait of South African realities today.

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