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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

PASSADOR, Luiz Henrique. "Tradition", person, gender, and STD/HIV/AIDS in southern Mozambique. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.3, pp. 687-693. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2009000300024.

In southern Mozambique, the "traditional" notion of personhood is constructed through a process, as an outcome of diachronic and synchronic social relations that encompass kin and other peers, including spirits. Both person and body are thought of as elements traversed and determined by these relations, which include the gender relations whose complementarity finds expression in alliances and the production of descendants. In this system of agnatic kinship, descent is possible through women, who produce the male and female persons. Because of women's structural position, they may be suspected of fostering deconstruction of the person as well, with diseases providing the objective data that ground such a charge. To a certain degree, HIV/AIDS has been experienced in terms of this sociocultural arrangement, which defines disease as the result of action by social subjects that jeopardizes the person, placing women in the vulnerable position of being seen as the producers of disease. This has defined the ways in which people experience both the epidemic as well as STD/HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment messages and public policies.

Keywords : Interpersonal Relations; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Sexually Transmitted Diseases; Africa.

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