Masculinity and Exclusion at an HIV Clinic in Namibia

La exclusion,al parecer,tiene muchas formad

Culture

by Mike Callaghan

Moi University, Kenya

Image 1: “Holding HAART,” photography by author.

Sometimes exclusion doesn’t work the way we expect.

In 2008, I moved to the coast of Namibia to begin fieldwork for my PhD in Anthropology. The country had achieved near-universal access to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the medication that treats HIV. While many countries in sub-Saharan Africa scrambled to manage HIV outbreaks in crisis mode, Namibia had a fairly stable, mature program that had overcome most of its logistical challenges. For this reason, Namibia seemed like a perfect place to ask which patients benefit most from a public-sector rollout of HAART.

In the early days of HAART, the evidence – and common sense – suggested that women would fare worse than men. This is generally the case in North America and Europe. Further, in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, patriarchal cultures disproportionately expose women to violence…

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