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"Blood tests with the eyes" : negotiating conjugal relations during the HIV/AIDS crisis in rural Namibia

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Pauli, Julia; Schnegg, Michael

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Corporate Editor Heinrich-Barth-Institut e.V.
Abstract Research from different parts of Africa indicates that to grasp the HIV/AIDS catastrophe, an in-depth understanding of conjugal relationships is crucial. In casual, short-term sexual interactions, safer sex practices, foremost condom use, have become more and more prevalent. This does not hold true for long-term relationships. Marriage rates have substantially declined in many parts of southern Africa. Without marriage as a possible frame for conjugal relations meanings and practices of 'love' have become the structuring concept of conjugality. Love relations are perceived as based on trust. This contradicts the use of condoms, a visible sign of mistrust. Based on long-term ethnographic field research in rural northwest Namibia we analyse the interconnections between conjugal relations, perceptions of risk and practices of safe sex in detail.
Keywords AIDS; Namibia; developing country; Africa; sexuality; prevention; marriage; sex behavior; cultural factors; gender-specific factors; gender relations; contraception; woman
Classification Family Sociology, Sociology of Sexual Behavior; Sociology of Developing Countries, Developmental Sociology; Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology; Women's Studies, Feminist Studies, Gender Studies
Method qualitative empirical
Free Keywords HIV; sexuality; fertility; gender
Collection Title Aridity, change and conflict in Africa : proceedings of an international ACACIA conference held at Königswinter, Germany, October 1-3, 2003
Editor Bollig, Michael; Bubenzer, Olaf; Vogelsang, Ralf; Wotzka, Hans-Peter
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
City Köln
Page/Pages p. 411-439
Series Colloquium Africanum, 2
ISBN 978-3-927688-33-9
Status Postprint; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works
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