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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Cultural responses to the management of HIV/AIDS: the repackaging of puberty rites
Author:Sackey, Brigid M.ISNI
Periodical:Research Review (ISSN 0855-4412)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Ghana
West Africa
Medicine, Nutrition, Public Health
AIDS (Disease)
HIV infections
Initiation rites
Traditional culture
AIDS (Disease)--Prevention
Abstract:The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Ghana keeps rising. Of late, there has been a concerted public outcry by religious groups, chiefs, public officials and individuals for the restoration of puberty rites, arguing that their abolition has created a vacuum in the moral lives of the youth, as manifested in sexual laxity and associated problems of teenage pregnancy, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS. The author proposes that aspects of traditional puberty rites in Ghana that deal with positive cultural values be resuscitated while irrelevant and archaic customs, such as female genital mutilation, incision, scarification and nudity, which accompany the rites in some African societies, be left out. She contends that puberty rites can be used as a tool against HIV/AIDS because, in traditional society, adolescents who had not gone through the rites were not permitted to become sexually active. Her research, which is an ongoing project, aims at studying 3000 junior secondary school children between the ages of 12 to 16 years and, in the present paper, focuses on girls. The teenagers have, at least on paper, expressed their willingness to cooperate. After an examination of perceptions prevailing among the Ghanaian population on the origins of AIDS, the author makes suggestions regarding how puberty rites could be performed to suit modern trends. Bibliogr., note. [ASC Leiden abstract]