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HIV/AIDS in Tanzania: Gender-based structural interventions

Susan Mlangwa, University of Minnesota
Ann Meier, University of Minnesota

Current research on AIDS in Africa seeks to integrate both cultural and structural explanations as an alternative to research paradigms that focus on individual behavior. It is unclear, however, if this shift in theory has translated to interventions. Our project uses program documents and interviews to explore how and the degree to which AIDS prevention programs in Tanzania adopt structural strategies, with a particular interest in gender based structural projects. Informed by a theoretical understanding of gender as a social system, key findings indicate a substantial number of existing gender based structural programs, which address both systems of social relations and systems of meaning that maintain the gender system in Tanzania. However, our study reveals absence of projects focusing exclusively on cultural dimensions i.e. systems of meaning. These findings contribute to the discussion over the link between HIV/AIDS interventions and broader societal transformations.

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Presented in Session 37: Gender, Sexuality, and Vunerability; Exploring Intersections in Human Populations