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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Re-examining the early years of anti-retroviral treatment in South Africa: a taste for medicine
Author:Steinberg, JonnyISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 1468-2621)
Geographic term:South Africa
health care
External link:https://doi.org/10.1093/afraf/adw026
Abstract:Antiretroviral treatment (ART) has become a ubiquitous feature of South African life. By early 2015, three million people had begun ART in South Africa. In the light of widespread positive responses to the availability of treatment, early ethnographies that stressed suspicion, fear, and resentment need to be revisited. In this article, the author re-examines his own data on an early encounter between the technologies of ART and the population of a rural district in the Eastern Cape province. He also returns to Didier Fassin's ethnography in which he placed ordinary people's responses to AIDS in a history of suspicion and resentment. The article focuses in particular on the support groups that ART users formed and argues that they were the sites of creative responses to ART in which ordinary people, primarily women, bent the new technologies and esoteric languages they encountered to an array of endogenous purposes. The article concludes that ART was incorporated into a politics of hopeful expectation rather than a politics of resentment. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]