As churches, non-profits, and governments look for solutions to end the African AIDS pandemic, abstinence has provided a seemingly quick and easy answer that is thought to carry moral weight. Yet abstinence, as it is preached and practiced, is often an immoral option because it does not first consider the full agency of women. In asking why abstinence has been so readily embraced as a response to the African pandemic, assumptions of black sexuality must be brought into question. The tendency to focus on sexual morality rather than on the economic, gender, and social inequalities that cause the spread of AIDS must also be questioned. Through employing a postcolonial critique of abstinence, I argue that when abstinence as morality and abstinence as prevention collapse into one another, there is no space for women to find agency in abstinence. Instead, abstinence must be defined as “space” rather than “prohibition” in order for it to contribute to human flourishing.
Hat-tip to Priestly Goth Blog: paper presentation on AIDS preventiong in Africa for the link.
Unfortunately, just as
so much communication about AIDS in Africa even that which attempts to offer treatment as well as programs of prevention follow colonial patterns of cultural imperialism and that even the language of AIDS is language imposed from others and not taken up from with in African cultural and linguistic matrices
so the pricing of the article follows colonial patterns of cultural imperialism and places it beyond the reach of any but the rich -- the cost of a single article being higher than that of a very substantial hard-cover book, so that most people in Africa who probably ought to read it will be unable to afford it.
But Larry Kamphausen provides more information about the paper than can be read in the abstract, and also describes some of the discussion that follows the reading of it, so if you are interested in the topic of HIV/Aids prevention in Africa, his blog post at Priestly Goth Blog: paper presentation on AIDS preventiong in Africa is worth a read.