IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/dem/demres/v23y2010i32.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Asking God about the date you will die: HIV testing as a zone of uncertainty in rural Malawi

Author

Listed:
  • Amy Kaler

    (University of Alberta)

  • Susan Watkins

    (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

Testing for HIV is becoming more available in Africa. Global advocates of testing see it as key to AIDS prevention. However, testing is not always perceived as a good thing by people at risk. Here, we consider testing from the perspective of people in a high-prevalence community. Using qualitative data from rural Malawi, we show that the decision to test is not as straightforward as suggested in the testing advocacy literature, but is marked by uncertainty and ambivalence. Reluctance to test is connected to the perception that testing inevitably leads to a positive diagnosis, and subsequent deterioration and death. This fear is in turn linked to overestimation of the transmissibility of HIV. We recommend that testing advocates address this concern that being tested means having a death sentence pronounced, and emphasize the benefits of testing for the majority who are HIV-negative, as well as the minority who are HIV-positive.

Suggested Citation

  • Amy Kaler & Susan Watkins, 2010. "Asking God about the date you will die: HIV testing as a zone of uncertainty in rural Malawi," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 23(32), pages 905-932, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:23:y:2010:i:32
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol23/32/23-32.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ceri Peach, 1998. "South Asian and Caribbean Ethnic Minority Housing Choice in Britain," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 35(10), pages 1657-1680, October.
    2. Hill Kulu & Nadja Milewski, 2007. "Family change and migration in the life course," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 17(19), pages 567-590, December.
    3. repec:cai:poeine:pope_605_0645 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Alicia Adsera & Barry Chiswick, 2007. "Are there gender and country of origin differences in immigrant labor market outcomes across European destinations?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 495-526, July.
    5. Romain Aeberhardt & Denis Fougère & Julien Pouget & Roland Rathelot, 2010. "Wages and employment of French workers with African origin," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(3), pages 881-905, June.
    6. Ann Berrington & Ian Diamond, 2000. "Marriage or cohabitation: a competing risks analysis of first-partnership formation among the 1958 British birth cohort," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 163(2), pages 127-151.
    7. Hill Kulu & Amparo González-Ferrer, 2014. "Family Dynamics Among Immigrants and Their Descendants in Europe: Current Research and Opportunities," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 30(4), pages 411-435, November.
    8. Nadja Milewski & Hill Kulu, 2014. "Mixed Marriages in Germany: A High Risk of Divorce for Immigrant-Native Couples," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 30(1), pages 89-113, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Wilson, Nicholas, 2016. "Antiretroviral therapy and demand for HIV testing: Evidence from Zambia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 221-240.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:dem:demres:v:37:y:2017:i:42 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ambivalence; HIV/AIDS testing; Malawi;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:23:y:2010:i:32. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Editorial Office). General contact details of provider: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.