A tale of two "Cultures": HIV risk narratives in south africa

Eirik Saethre, Jonathan Stadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


There has been a tendency for many researchers and health professionals examining HIV transmission in South Africa to focus on explanations that specifically implicate culture as a primary vector affecting the prevalence of high-risk sexual behavior, such as multiple partners, unprotected sex, and dry sex. In contrast, the residents of Orange Farm, a former informal settlement south of Soweto, portray culture as seldom, if ever, motivating actions that are associated with HIV transmission or prevention in the community. Comparing and contrasting these differing conceptions, we comment critically on the use of ideas regarding culture in explanations addressing the HIV/AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-284
Number of pages17
JournalMedical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Culture
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health (social science)
  • Anthropology


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