You can’t eat the sweet with the paper on : An anthropological study of perceptions of HIV and HIV prevention among Xhosa youth in Cape Town, South Africa
Abstract: South Africa has the biggest HIV epidemic in the world and the HIV rates among youth are especially alarming. In 2016 there were 110 000 new cases of HIV among 15 to 24-year-olds. The aim of this study is to describe and analyse perceptions of HIV and HIV prevention among Xhosa youth in the township of Langa, Cape Town. In order to study this, I focus on the organisation loveLife and their employed peer educators called groundBREAKERs (gBs). To gain knowledge on what fuels the HIV epidemic in this setting I will examine their thoughts and notions of HIV/AIDS, sexuality and sexual behaviour in relation to the information that is available to them. Examining the socio-cultural context of HIV/AIDS is important to understand the spread and why HIV is not declining sufficiently in response to HIV preventative efforts. This thesis is based on ten weeks of fieldwork at loveLife’s Y-Centre in Langa. The material was gathered through semi-structured interviews and participant observation. To analyse the drivers for the spread of HIV among Xhosa youth an analytical tool of gender roles, with a main focus on masculinity, has been utilized.
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