Jenny Trinitapoli and Alexander Weinreb

in Religion and AIDS in Africa

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195335941
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199979080 | DOI:

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This chapter summarizes key empirical patterns in the relationship between AIDS and religion in sub-Saharan Africa. It then elaborates on four patterns which are particularly pertinent for understanding AIDS's past and prospective pathway. First, on most behavioral dimensions, differences across denominations and religious traditions are much weaker than differences by religiosity. Second, moral debates at the center of religious discourse about AIDS focus as much on how to treat HIV+ individuals and the duty to provide care as they do on sexual behavior. Third, there are marked differences between established authoritative discourses about AIDS and practice on the ground. Fourth, substantial Christian/Muslim differences in congregational caregiving beg important questions about these communities' structural predisposition to different types of socioeconomic and political development. The chapter closes with a simple but comprehensive claim: scholars and policy makers who ignore the profound ways in which religion affects AIDS in Africa do AIDS, and Africa, an injustice.

Keywords: HIV; /AIDS; policy; authority; development; sub-Saharan Africa; moral debates; Christianity; Islam

Chapter.  4988 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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