n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Complexities and challenges : men's responses to HIV and Aids in Winterveld, South Africa




Recent literature on HIV / Aids in South Africa acknowledges the failure of programmes and research initiatives to adequately integrate and take detailed account of masculine responses to the Aids pandemic. Although launched on a small scale, primary interventions have mainly targeted women as victims, transmitters and carriers of HIV. This article focuses selectively on findings from field research conducted in Winterveld, in South Africa's North-West Province, which reveal ways in which poverty, gender inequalities and cultural constructions intersect to shape contradictory profiles of men: as 'protagonists' actively spreading the disease, and as a socially isolated group who are falling 'victim' to HIV in increasing numbers. It is argued that despite the evident complexities and the marginal status of the area, there is space for engaging discourses and practices and for driving meaningful social interventions. Efforts in communities such as Winterveld, however, will only bear positive results if the process of mobilising men occurs alongside the implementation of broader socio-economic interventions. The article draws attention to men's recommendations regarding Aids interventions.


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