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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Religious participation and HIV-disclosure rationales among people living with HIV/AIDS in rural Swaziland
Author:Root, RobinISNI
Periodical:African Journal of AIDS Research (ISSN 1608-5906)
Geographic term:Swaziland - Eswatini
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2989/AJAR.2009.
Abstract:This study examines HIV self-disclosure in church settings in Swaziland, where disclosure rationales function as a key heuristic to explore experience of HIV-positivity, religiosity, and church participation. The study draws on a medical anthropological project in the country to investigate experiences of church participation among HIV-positive individuals, most of them female. The data are derived from interviews with 28 HIV-positive individuals across three domains: pre and post-diagnosis religiosity; HIV stigma and support in church settings; and decisions on HIV disclosure. Field research and interviews with individuals close to people living with HIV, health personnel, and pastors provided important contextual data. It appeared that HIV disclosure in church settings is a reflexive process, mediated by subjective religiosity, the social dynamics of church networks, and broader structural vulnerabilities. Church participation often entails stigma, which negatively affects self-disclosure; however, a rhetoric of 'courage' emerges to describe individuals who voluntarily disclose their HIV-positive status. A church-based defense of the meaning of personhood for people living with HIV is among the most important findings. The study problematizes church settings as sites of analysis where gender, poverty, and religion intersect disease epidemiology in ways that may have untapped programmatic implications. Bibliogr., ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]