n Health SA Gesondheid - The social construction of HIV / Aids




An in-depth look is taken at the specific discourses surrounding the debilitating HIV / AIDS epidemic sweeping South Africa and the world. Not only is the statistics daunting, the incidence of the HIV infection worldwide is staggering. This article provides a concise definition of what a discourse entails as well as its impact on the perceptions concerning the epidemic and its treatment. It looks at the cultural meanings contributed to the infection, its etiology and progress. The role of cultural schemas and means of explanation are examined as well as the gender roles that are used to organise ideas around sexuality and the individual expression of that sexuality. The article securely situates the HIV / AIDS debate within the larger political structures forming today's world. It clearly implicates historic discourses in the modern day perceptions regarding the disease. In the final instance it becomes clear that any interpretation of the experience of HIV / AIDS has to incorporate the effects of culture, gender and broader political structures on individuals' responses to and understanding of the disease.

Hierdie artikel poog om 'n indiepte ondersoek te loods na die spesifieke diskoerse rondom die MIV / VIGS epidemie in Suid-Afrika en die wêreld. Wêreldwyd is die statistiek rondom die epidemie oorweldigend en die groeiende voorkoms daarvan onrusbarend. Dié artikel bied eerstens 'n omvattende definisie van wat diskoerse behels asook die impak daarvan op die persepsies van die infeksie en die behandeling daarvan. Kulturele skemas en verduidelikings van MIV / VIGS word ondersoek asook die geslagsrolle wat gebruik word om idees rondom seksualiteit en die uitlewing van hierdie individuele seksualiteit te verklaar. Die artikel plaas die epidemie binne die groter politieke strukture wat die daaglikse omgewing vorm en bied duidelike bewyse vir die invloed van die land se historiese verlede op die hedendaagse persepsie van MIV / VIGS. Uiteindelik is dit duidelik dat enige poging om die subjektiewe ervaring van MIV / VIGS te bekyk, die effek van kultuur, geslag en die breër politieke arena sal moet in ag neem om sodoende die individue se ervarings van, en reaksies op, die infeksie te begryp.


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