HIV and AIDS, culture and development
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- Term 2
HIV and AIDS has emerged as a significant development issue, cutting across disciplinary and territorial boundaries. Its spread over the past three decades or so has hit communities and nations hard in the areas worst affected: it has led to households collapsing; large numbers of orphans have resulted from the death from HIV and AIDS of parents; it has contributed to conditions of famine and widespread starvation; it has caused a significant drop in life-expectancies across sub-Saharan Africa; and millions have suffered from the physical and psycho-social effects of infection, stigmatisation, severe illness and death.
This course highlights the social, economic and cultural contexts and experiences in relation to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the developing world context, with a particular focus on Africa. It explores the ways in which poverty, structural imbalances, cultural factors, globalisation and international policy have impacted on the spread of the disease; and how, in turn the disease impacts back on society. It addresses the challenges of mobilising national, international and community action in devising prevention, treatment and care strategies, and offers a critique of key theories and assumptions underpinning HIV and AIDS policy. It examines the institutional and policy response to the disease, analysing strengths and weaknesses amongst particular groups of actors, and the impact of international policy on efforts to control the epidemic.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
At the end of this course, the student should be able to demonstrate:
- An awareness of biological, socio-economic, cultural and political factors that drive the HIV and AIDS epidemic
- An understanding of key arguments and theories in the literature on HIV and AIDS and its link to development, poverty and vulnerability
- An awareness of how HIV and AIDS impacts differently on different communities and groups, and the ability to critically evaluate debates on that impact
- An ability to analyse and discuss HIV and AIDS policy from the perspective of international organisations, national agencies, non-governmental organisations and community groups
- An understanding of key issues in HIV and AIDS and development, such as treatment, stigma and discrimination, international policy and funding, and the link between security and HIV and AIDS
Teaching takes place through a weekly 2 hour lecture and 1 hour tutorial.