Thursday, May 17, 2007

Voices of HIV positive young mothers

In the chapter, Voices of HIV positive young mothers, Nirmala Gopal writes about the concerns and anxieties of young HIV-positive mothers. They speak about the problems of stigmatisation and the difficulties of disclosure, even to boyfriends, partners and close family. But they are most concerned about the welfare of their children. The women hold to ‘traditional’ or ‘cultural’ beliefs which attribute illness to personal conflicts and jealousies. These may be particularly attractive because, Nirmala argues, they offer possibilities of cures through the mediation of the sangoma or witchdoctor (in contrast to modern medicine). However, the women understand the ramifications of their HIV status, illustrated in their concern that their children may have to grow up and manage without them.

Gopal, Nirmala. 'Voices of HIV positive young mothers', in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press, 2007), pp. 372-377.