"Navigating the AIDS Epidemic in Rural Malawi"
This paper provides a perspective on rural Malawi during the unsettled
times following the recognition by village residents that AIDS is a
profound danger. The primary data are observational field journals in
which local ethnographers wrote their recollections of conversations about
AIDS that they overheard or participated in during the course of their
daily lives. In their networks of friends, relatives and neighbors, rural
Malawians are publicly discussing a range of strategies of prevention.
These strategies range from the abstinence, fidelity and consistent condom
use prescribed by international and national experts to innovative
strategies of partner selection, divorce, and renewed religious
commitment. I also consider the effectiveness of these strategies, and
speculate about the applicability of these findings to other populations.