Zooming in and out: Explorations of HIV risk, responsibility, intimacy and love in rural South Africa

Event 1 Jan 2014

Dr Heidi van Rooyen
Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) , South Africa

Several studies in the United Kingdom and the United States have explored risk management in HIV prevention amongst gay men.  This presentation explores how a group of rural, heterosexual South African women, living in the midst of spiraling HIV infection, negotiate issues of HIV risk and responsibility in the context of their intimate love relationships. Drawing on qualitative data collected as part of Project Accept, a randomized controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of a community mobilization, community-based voluntary counseling and testing (CBVCT) intervention, the approach to the analysis will be two-fold. First, the themes of risk, responsibility, intimacy and love are explored across a sample of cohort interviews collected at baseline, 6 months, and 15 months in the study.  Next, we switch perspective and zoom in on a single woman’s story over these 3 time-points, and explore her emotional, psychological and moral response as she negotiates these issues. Finally, the implications that these data raise for HIV prevention efforts will be considered.