Concealment tactics among HIV-positive nurses in Uganda

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Kyakuwa, M. ; Hardon, A. (2012)

This paper is based on two-and-a-half years of ethnographic fieldwork in two rural Ugandan health centres during a period of ART scale-up. Around one-third of the nurses in these two sites were themselves HIV-positive but most concealed their status. We describe how a group of HIV-positive nurses set up a secret circle to talk about their predicament as HIV-positive healthcare professionals and how they developed innovative care technologies to overcome the skin rashes caused by ART that threatened to give them away. Together with patients and a traditional healer, the nurses resisted hegemonic biomedical norms denouncing herbal medicines and then devised and advocated for a herbal skin cream treatment to be included in the ART programme.
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