Catholic responses to the AIDS epidemic in Uganda


Start date: 14 September, 2008 End date: 31 May, 2011 Project type: Smaller projects: PhD Project code: 73-08-KU Countries: Uganda Thematic areas: Health, State building, governance and civil society, Lead institution: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Project coordinator: Louise Nygaard Rasmussen Total grant: 176,980 DKK

Project summary

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.

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