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Global expectations and local practices: HIV support groups in the Gambia

Cassidy, Rebecca (2010) Global expectations and local practices: HIV support groups in the Gambia. AIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV, 22 (sup 2). pp. 1598-1605. ISSN 0954-0121. (doi:10.1080/09540121.2010.525612) (KAR id:76922)


This paper looks at the ways that people living with HIV in the Gambia, as members of HIV support groups, engaged with the programmes available to them in this context. People living with HIV engage with the global in a variety of ways. Following Ong and Collier this paper analyses the way in which people in this context experience and negotiate with the “global assemblage” around international HIV work. This can be observed in everyday practice in the formation of networks and partnerships linking people and their activities into international structures. Using qualitative methods and a grounded theoretical approach, the research followed events around HIV treatment in the Gambia 2006–2007. Looking at the support societies and their members' struggles to gain some material support, findings show how support group members negotiated and expressed agency within the available structures. They make use of accepted frames of international action which bypass the state, presenting an internationally linked “biological citizenship” which brings associated opportunities to access resources. Through the intervention of the president and his “cure” programme, this case also illustrates that people's commitment to the value structures implicit in these funding streams may not be as strong as might be assumed. In these circumstances two alternate treatment programmes, linked to very different values, were on offer, both backed up by the powerful machinery of either the state or international funding. The negotiation by people living with HIV of these avenues through which to acquire benefits and so support and health, calls into question assumptions of a “buy in” to global ideas and values without further scrutiny of the ways in which such assemblages function in different contexts.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/09540121.2010.525612
Uncontrolled keywords: people living with HIV, support groups, networking, global funding and programming
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Rebecca Cassidy
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2019 10:11 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:26 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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