A Plague of Paradoxes: AIDS, Culture, and Demography in Northern Tanzania

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University of Chicago Press, 1999 - Medical - 308 pages
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Since recording its first AIDS cases in 1983, Tanzania has reported nearly 90,000 more to the World Health Organization—more than any other country in Africa. As AIDS spread, the devastating syndrome came to be known simply as ugonjwa huo: "that disease."

The AIDS epidemic has forced Africans to reflect upon the meaning of traditional ideas and practices related to sexuality and fertility, and upon modernity and biomedicine. In A Plague of Paradoxes, anthropologist Philip Setel observes Tanzania's Chagga people and their attempts to cope with and understand AIDS—the latest in a series of crises over which they feel they have little, if any, control.

Timely and well-researched, A Plague of Paradoxes is an extended case study of the most serious epidemic of the twentieth century and the cultural circumstances out of which it emerged. It is a unique book that brings together anthropology, demography, and epidemiology to explain how a particular community in Africa experiences AIDS.
 

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Contents

Social Reproduction
27
CHAPTER 3
51
CHAPTER 4
68
Personhood and the Pragmatics of Desire
89
CHAPTER 5
144
Professional and Popular Epidemiologies of AIDS
183
CHAPTER 7
208
Conclusions without Closure
236
Notes
251
References
277
Index
295
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About the author (1999)

PHILIP W. SETEL is the Director of the Adult Morbidity and Mortality Project in Tanzania, and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne Medical School.

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