n Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa - HIV / AIDS and gender : the inadequacy of liberalism's response : last word

Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0259-0069



This paper addresses the unfortunate fact that social theory - particularly in the human sciences - has been ominously reticent in its intellectual input on the social determinants of HIV in South Africa. A brief overview is provided of the manifestations of HIV / AIDS as a genderised? variable. This is followed by an application to this context of the basic feminist theories - what the lessons are that these afford us when combined with the societal effects of the disease. This is done within the context of South Africa (post- 1994) as a state with a liberal constitution. The paper points out that there are distinct limits to how this particular ideology and its feminist variant are able provide a transformative impetus in our society. It concludes by emphasising the need for social theory in general and gender theory in particular to embrace ideological eclecticism in an effort to combat the hugely negative consequences of HIV / AIDS.

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