Edward K. Kirumira, Relebohile Molestane
Journal: Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa
pp. 154-159 | 10.1353/trn.2004.0021
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154 Relebohile Moletsane TRANSFORMATION 54 (2004) ISSN 0258-7696 154 Interview with Edward Kirumira Can an Analysis of Social Identity Contribute to Effective Intervention Against the HIV/ AIDS Pandemic? Relebohile Moletsane This special issue of Transformation examines three themes: Identities, interventions and activism in the context of HIV/AIDS in Africa. In this electronic interview, carried out on behalf of the guest editorial team by Relebohile Moletsane, Edward K Kirumira, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, comments on the role of the social sciences, particularly an analysis of identities, in contributing to a better understanding of, and effective interventions against the HIV/AIDS pandemic. RM: What do you see as the major issues/problems surrounding social identities and HIV/AIDS in Uganda and the rest of Africa south of the Sahara? Kirumira: Although evidence exists that challenges the argument of social identities as the determinants for the spread of HIV, strong perceptions continue to exist and to influence HIV/AIDS policy programming. This has not helped to reduce stigmatisation often based on identities. Secondly, in Uganda just like most of sub-Saharan Africa, the family and community provide the only consistent safety net, in the absence of formal health and general social insurance. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has stretched these safety nets tremendously thus putting in question advantages accruing to social identity(ies). That is, identifying oneself with an extended family, or a community may unfortunately not present the same advantages it presented two decades ago! RM: How do you see social science contributing to understandings of the HIV pandemic and to the development of effective interventions to combat transmission in the region? 155 Interview with Edward K Kirumirao Kirumira: When the first cases of what looked like HIV presentation were identified in southern Uganda (current Rakai District), the local population was quick to associate it with unscrupulous traders who had cheated across the Tanzanian border and were therefore bewitched. As the pandemic gained ground the bio-medical explanation gained prominence.
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