Secrecy, stigma and HIV/AIDS: An introduction

  • Graeme Reid Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER), University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits 2050, South Africa
  • Liz Walker Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER), University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits 2050, South Africa

Abstract

This paper situates the articles selected for this special issue of AJAR within the context of the Sex and Secrecy conference, from which they emerged and within the discourse of secrecy. Secrecy and silence which have characterised the HIV/AIDS epidemic in many societies, have been the focus of limited academic attention. Yet the power of the secret is evident in multiple spheres. This introduction uses the lens of secrecy to enhance our understanding of sexuality. One of the themes which ran throughout these papers was that of stigma and its links to secrecy and HIV/AIDS. The papers reviewed in this introduction highlight an alarming paradox. There is a high level of HIV awareness and unparalleled public attention around matters of sexuality and yet the authors in this special issue all point to the enormity of stigma and its consequences

Key words: denial, power, sexuality, shame, silence

  African Journal of AIDS Research 2003, 2(2): 85–88
Published
2004-03-30
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1608-5906
print ISSN: 1727-9445