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Navigating the AIDS Epidemic in Rural Malawi

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  • Susan Cotts Watkins

Abstract

This article provides a perspective on rural Malawi during the unsettled times following the recognition by village residents that AIDS is a profound danger. The primary data are observational field journals in which local ethnographers wrote their recollections of conversations about AIDS that they overheard or participated in during the course of their daily lives. In their networks of friends, relatives, and neighbors, rural Malawians are publicly discussing a range of strategies of prevention. These strategies range from the abstinence, fidelity, and consistent condom use prescribed by international and national experts to innovative strategies of partner selection, divorce, and renewed religious commitment. The article also considers the effectiveness of these strategies and speculates about the applicability of the findings to other populations.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Cotts Watkins, 2004. "Navigating the AIDS Epidemic in Rural Malawi," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(4), pages 673-705, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:30:y:2004:i:4:p:673-705
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2004.00037.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1728-4457.2004.00037.x
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    1. Susan Watkins & Ina Warriner, 2003. "How do we know we need to control for selectivity?," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 1(4), pages 109-142.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dick Durevall & Annika Lindskog, 2016. "Adult Mortality, AIDS, and Fertility in Rural Malawi," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 54(3), pages 215-242, September.
    2. Nicole Angotti & Margaret Frye & Amy Kaler & Michelle Poulin & Susan Cotts Watkins & Sara Yeatman, 2014. "Popular Moralities and Institutional Rationalities in Malawi's Struggle Against AIDS," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 40(3), pages 447-473, September.
    3. Conroy, Amy A. & Wong, Lauren H., 2015. "How reliable are self-reports of HIV status disclosure? Evidence from couples in Malawi," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 28-37.
    4. Angotti, Nicole, 2010. "Working outside of the box: How HIV counselors in Sub-Saharan Africa adapt Western HIV testing norms," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(5), pages 986-993, September.
    5. Cordero Coma, Julia, 2014. "HIV prevention and marriage: Peer group effects on condom use acceptability in rural Kenya," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 169-177.
    6. Enid Schatz & Nicole Angotti & Sangeetha Madhavan & Christie Sennott, 2015. "Working with teams of "insiders"," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 32(12), pages 369-396.
    7. Sikstrom, Laura, 2018. "“There was no love there”: Intergenerational HIV disclosure, and late presentation for antiretroviral therapy in Northern Malawi," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 211(C), pages 175-182.
    8. Pauline Peters & Peter A. Walker & Daimon Kambewa, 2008. "Striving for Normality in a Time of AIDS in Malawi," CID Working Papers 167, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    9. Trinitapoli, Jenny, 2009. "Religious teachings and influences on the ABCs of HIV prevention in Malawi," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 199-209, July.
    10. Swidler, Ann & Watkins, Susan Cotts, 2009. ""Teach a Man to Fish": The Sustainability Doctrine and Its Social Consequences," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1182-1196, July.
    11. Philip Anglewicz, 2012. "Migration, Marital Change, and HIV Infection in Malawi," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(1), pages 239-265, February.
    12. Kim, Jinho, 2016. "The effect of peers on HIV infection expectations among Malawian adolescents: Using an instrumental variables/school fixed effect approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 61-69.
    13. Georges Reniers & Benjamin Armbruster & Aaron Lucas, 2015. "Sexual networks, partnership mixing, and the female-to-male ratio of HIV infections in generalized epidemics," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 33(15), pages 425-450.
    14. Anglewicz, Philip & Clark, Shelley, 2013. "The effect of marriage and HIV risks on condom use acceptability in rural Malawi," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 29-40.
    15. Angotti, Nicole & Bula, Agatha & Gaydosh, Lauren & Kimchi, Eitan Zeev & Thornton, Rebecca L. & Yeatman, Sara E., 2009. "Increasing the acceptability of HIV counseling and testing with three C's: Convenience, confidentiality and credibility," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 2263-2270, June.
    16. Rock, Amelia & Barrington, Clare & Abdoulayi, Sara & Tsoka, Maxton & Mvula, Peter & Handa, Sudhanshu, 2016. "Social networks, social participation, and health among youth living in extreme poverty in rural Malawi," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 55-62.
    17. Alexander A. Weinreb & Guy Stecklov, 2009. "Social inequality and HIV-testing," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 21(21), pages 627-646.
    18. Yamauchi, Futoshi & Ueyama, Mika, 2008. "Social learning, selection, and HIV infection: Evidence from Malawi," IFPRI discussion papers 817, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    19. Parijat Chakrabarti & Margaret Frye, 2017. "A mixed-methods framework for analyzing text data: Integrating computational techniques with qualitative methods in demography," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 37(42), pages 1351-1382.
    20. Dionne, Kim Yi, 2012. "Local Demand for a Global Intervention: Policy Priorities in the Time of AIDS," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(12), pages 2468-2477.
    21. Jimi Adams & Jenny Trinitapoli, 2009. "The Malawi Religion Project:," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 21(10), pages 255-288.
    22. Poulin, Michelle, 2007. "Sex, money, and premarital partnerships in southern Malawi," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(11), pages 2383-2393, December.
    23. Kaler, Amy & Angotti, Nicole & Ramaiya, Astha, 2016. "“They are looking just the same”: Antiretroviral treatment as social danger in rural Malawi," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 71-78.

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