n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Portraying HIV and AIDS in Chitonga, Malawi : a youth perspective




This article is predicated on the importance of language usage in HIV and AIDS prevention. It also draws from emerging findings from other research studies that youths in Africa are particularly adept at circumventing cultural restrictions on the discussion of sex and sexuality, by developing their own special language which their elders cannot understand. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods, the study revealed some terms and expression used by Chitonga-speaking youths when discussing issues related to HIV and AIDS in Kavuzi, Nkhata Bay in northern Malawi. The study also revealed that youths have coined expressions and terms that they can understand to the exclusion of those who do not form part of their circle. The article also discusses the implications of such an exclusionary form of discourse on much-needed openness in matters surrounding HIV and AIDS.


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