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Nicole Angotti, Assistant Professor, American University

‘Taking Care’ in the Age of AIDS: Older Rural South Africans’ Strategies for Surviving an HIV Epidemic
When Oct 10, 2016
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 2113 Chincoteague Hall
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Topic

Older adults have been neglected in HIV/AIDS research and programming in sub-Saharan Africa. In South Africa, the HIV epidemic is severe among older adults, the population is aging rapidly, and the recent expansion of anti-retroviral therapies means more people will be not only surviving into older ages with the disease, but also at risk of acquiring HIV at older ages. How are older adults making sense of this dynamic context of risk? Drawing on theories of the life course, and the transition to old age in particular, this talk will focus on local strategies for mitigating the spread of HIV among older rural South Africans, in a setting where 16.5% of adults over 50 are HIV positive. Utilizing community focus group interviews from the “HIV after 40 in Rural South Africa” study, it will highlight a recurring theme: ku ti hlayisa, “to take care of yourself”. Findings show that for older adults, ‘taking care’ in the age of AIDS connotes 1) a pathway to achieving old-age respectability; 2) a set of gendered strategies for reducing one’s sexual risk for HIV; and 3) a shared responsibility for attenuating the impact of the epidemic in the community. Such an inquiry aims to inform the development of effective community-focused interventions for a population overlooked in HIV prevention efforts.

About the Speaker

Nicole Angotti

Nicole Angotti is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Assistant Director of the Center on Health, Risk and Society at American University. She is also a Visiting Researcher at the MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt) in South Africa. Her research focuses on sexual health in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular the social and institutional dimensions of public health interventions; HIV risk across the life course; and LGBT populations and politics. Before joining AU, Angotti was a Hewlett Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow with the African Population Studies Research and Training Program at the University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.  She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin.

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