- Dynamics of care, situations of choice: HIV tests in times of ART
- Medical Anthropology
- Volume | Issue number
- 30 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
In the 1990s, African AIDS programs followed a voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) approach to HIV testing. In the wake of large scale AIDS treatment programs, policymakers opted for routine provider-initiated testing (PITC) with less emphasis on counseling, which led to concerns about the ethical conduct of HIV testing. Inspired by Annemarie Mol, we ask if PITC can be framed as good care, rather than as medical domination that threatens to violate patients' rights. Based on fieldwork in Ugandan and Kenyan health facilities, we reveal that situations of choice vary: patients in hospital wards, are given time to decide whether they want a test, while in antenatal care testing women find it very hard to opt-out. We argue that the medical context inherent in PITC provides an attractive moral space for people to undergo HIV tests.
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