Catholic responses to the AIDS epidemic in Uganda

Start date
September 15, 2008
End date
June 1, 2011
Project type
Project code
Total grant
Contact person
Louise Nygaard Rasmussen

This PhD project is a study of three Catholic organisations in Uganda involved in providing ‘treatment, care and support’ to people living with HIV/AIDS. Based on ten months’ fieldwork in different types of Catholic AIDS projects in Kampala and Arua dioceses, the project provides a comparative perspective on divergent ways that bio-medical treatment, spiritual care and social support to people living with HIV/AIDS are combined and negotiated in the context of the antiretroviral (ARV) treatment ‘scale-up’ that has taken place in many African countries since 2004. By studying Catholic organisations involved in the ARV treatment ‘scale-up’, the project contributes with a unique perspective on the scale-up. The project highlights how the massive allocation of resources for ARV treatment in Sub-Saharan Africa provides only a partial potential to prolong life, and how treatment providers at the same time produce new social inequalities, by committing ARV patients to follow a meticulous self-government regime. For Catholic organisations involved in the ARV treatment scale-up, we can trace how promoting individual responsible self-government is replacing ethical questions of how to ensure human dignity in times of adversity with spiritual and material assistance.