n Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Indigenous discourses in the social construction of HIV / AIDS in Serowe, Botswana

Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1683-0296



We present a descriptive analysis of indigenous discourses on the subject of HIV / AIDS in Serowe, an urban village in Botswana. The results show that people tend to view disease from the perspective of their culture. This is evident from the way AIDS in particular is understood, explained, prevented and treated among the residents of Serowe. Those studied considered AIDS to be a 'Tswana disease', which was curable provided that it was attended to early by a real (traditional) doctor. The results suggest that the major cause of AIDS is believed to be breaches of sex taboos, especially those prohibiting sexual intercourse during menstruation, just after childbirth, immediately after a miscarriage and after the loss of a spouse. It is concluded that the persistent indigenous conceptions of AIDS observed in the study have important consequences for the prevention of the spread of AIDS that should be used in the campaign against HIV / AIDS, rather than dismissed by the government and other institutions involved.

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