By Adrian Flint (auth.)
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Extra info for HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa: Politics, Aid and Globalization
2 The siege of Naples by Charles VIII of France in 1495 is said to have marked the onset of the ‘age of syphilis’ in Europe. As the story goes, Spanish mercenaries in Charles’ army, who had sailed previously with Columbus and contracted syphilis from Amerindians, communicated their infection to Charles’ camp. Almost from the outset, the national ‘blame-game’ began. The Neapolitans referred to syphilis as the ‘French disease’, Charles VIII called it the ‘Neapolitan disease’. In France it was called the ‘Spanish disease’, while the Spanish knew it as the ‘West Indian disease’.
The moral dimension inherent within the PEPFAR agenda, with its strong proscriptions on premarital sex and prostitution, may be counterproductive (Chapter 6 and Chapter 7). Contrary to sex-and-disease discourses – both historical and contemporary – that serve to focus attention on the ‘otherness’ of the African situation, evidence suggests that the solution to overcoming epidemics in Africa was, and remains, the establishment and maintenance of a robust healthcare infrastructure. Rather than pigeonholing HIV/AIDS as a ‘special issue’ and funding it accordingly, its effective management should be considered to be one aspect – albeit an important one – of a prioritized African healthcare agenda (Chapter 6).
Both a lack of condom availability and cultural norms and values pertaining to fertility and sex can account for the relative lack of condom use across the continent. Faith-based groups like the Catholic Church and religiously-motivated politicians like former US President George W Bush and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni have pressed instead for a ‘social vaccine’ based on abstinence for the young and ﬁdelity for those in relationships. Uganda, with its dramatic fall in prevalence rates over the course of the 1990s, is held up as an alternative template to that offered by the proponents of ‘safer sex’.
HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa: Politics, Aid and Globalization by Adrian Flint (auth.)