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04 R Upton


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04 R Upton

  1. 1. Rebecca L. Upton, Ph.D. Edward Myers Dolan Professor of Sociology & Anthropology DePauw University Fulbright Scholar – Centre for the Study of HIV/AIDS University of Botswana
  2. 2. “If you get circumcised it protects you against the AIDS virus We have heard that if you get circumcised then you will be safe, then you are protected -taking the blanket off is important if you want to be able to have sex, most girls who want a baby, they also want you to be circumcised now.” [19 year old University student]
  3. 3. Circumcision Data From 2008 10- Percentage of Males aged 10-64 who are circumcised, by age group: 10- 10-14 3.7 15- 15-19 5.4 20- 20-24 10.0 25- 25-29 12.7 30- 30-34 15.9 35- 35-39 15.5 40- 40-44 17.1 45- 45-49 16.4 50- 50-54 15.7 55- 55-59 19.2 60- 60-64 14.0 Total 11.2
  4. 4. Percentage of males 10-64 by selected district: Gaborone 15.3 Francistown 16.4 Lobatse 14.8 Orapa 33.6 Sowa 26.7 Southeast 16.2 Kgatleng 12.7 Central – Serowe 8.5 Ngamiland east 15.6 Ngamiland west 11.5 Chobe 20.0 Ghanzi 10.0 Total 11.2
  5. 5. “If you see a man who is circumcised, you might believe that he is safe, that he is HIV free and he will tell you that too, it definitely works to get more ladies that way” – 26 year old male “Only HIV negative men will be circumcised, that is the practice”. - Ministry health care worker “In the past, all boys went through bogwera, it was part of Tswana culture and not part of HIV, but now, you see boys who are prohibited from this practice, they were told it was barbaric and yet now its being promoted, the message is a paradox, it is not a surprise that many are surprised by this”. – 45 year old University employed woman “No one wants to be passed over, or left on the shelf, you want to have children, so first you have children, then you worry about HIV”. – 20 year old woman
  6. 6. The value of anthropology and other studies that place socio-cultural factors at the centre of discourse on drivers of the epidemic Not a call for a roll back of circumcision programmes, rather a call for critical attention to narratives, discourse and recognition that MC cannot and should not be seen as just a “medical intervention” As with other reproductive and sexual health concerns (fertility desires), cultural factors are interrelated and integrated, should be centre stage