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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Faith in God, but not in condoms: churches and competing visions of HIV prevention in Namibia
Author:Rigillo, NicoleISNI
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies
Geographic term:Namibia
Abstract:Namibia is one of the most Christian countries in Africa, as well as the fifth most affected by HIV/AIDS - an estimated 90 percent of the population identifies with one of the Christian denominations, while nearly one in five are currently infected with HIV. Although the government has promoted and distributed condoms freely as part of the ABC (abstain, be faithful, use condoms) approach to prevent HIV since the 1990s, doubts about the efficacy of condoms proliferate in both urban and rural areas. This article, which is based on three months of ethnographic fieldwork in Windhoek in 2006, explores the ways in which Pentecostal leaders challenge the promotion of condom use as the gold standard of HIV prevention. In accessing and disseminating scientific research that challenges established knowledge about condom efficacy, religious leaders are able to promote abstinence and faithfulness as the only truly 'safe' sexual behaviours. They thus promote the A's and B's of HIV prevention as 'healthier' choices relying on individual moral and behavioural change, arguing against a dependence on medical devices that may or may not function as advertised. Notes, sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]