Monday, 5 September 2011

Love in the Time of AIDS: Inequality, Gender, and Rights in South Africa

by Mark Hunter, 2010

“ Beautifully, powerfully, and movingly written. The best analysis I have seen not only of the reasons for the HIV/AIDS pandemic in southern Africa, but of its wider socioeconomic, cultural, and political dynamics.”

– Shula Marks, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

“One of the most exceptional studies of the response to HIV and AIDS.” – Richard Parker, Columbia University

In some parts of South Africa, more than one in three people are HIV positive. Love in the Time of AIDS explores transformations in notions of gender and intimacy to try to understand the roots of this virulent epidemic.

By living in an informal settlement and collecting love letters, cell phone text messages, oral histories, and archival materials, Mark Hunter details the everyday social inequalities that have resulted in untimely deaths.
Hunter shows how first apartheid and then chronic unemployment have become entangled with ideas about femininity, masculinity, love, and sex and have created an economy of exchange that perpetuates the transmission of HIV/AIDS. This sobering ethnography challenges conventional understandings of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

There are excerpts from this book online here and here.