20 April 2009

HIV/AIDS Prevention and Sexed Bodies: Rethinking Abstinence in Light of the African AIDS Pandemic:| Theology and Sexuality

HIV/AIDS Prevention and Sexed Bodies: Rethinking Abstinence in Light of the African AIDS Pandemic: Theology and Sexuality:
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.

3 comments:

Amay said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steve Hayes said...

I have just removed a comment advocating a quack remedy claiming to be a cure ofr HIV/Aids, which also promoted an affiliate marketing scam. Such comments are not merely spam, but are downright dangerous to people suffering from HIV/Aids.

Larry Kamphausen said...

Steve,
thanks for the link. And I was also a bit taken back by the price of the article.
I hope to post a bit more on that article, I appreciate the author's approach not just because she is a friend and parishoner, but she is engaging the world from a feminist and progressive stance in a way that seeks to recover resources from scripture and tradition. Such a feminist theology and ethics I feel can show how the Bible or tradition is often hijacked by values and POV that undermine and are antithetical to the Gospel.

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