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Love in the Time of AIDS: Inequality, Gender and Rights in South Africa
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Price: R 255
Publication Date: 2010-10-29
Binding: Softcover
ISBN: 978 1 86914 203 2
Width: 150
Height: 225
Pages: 318

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Review by Zackie Achmat
Writing Rights

“A failed man”: Mark Hunter’s Love in the Time of AIDS — a must read

Mark Hunter’s Love in the Time of AIDS: Inequality, Gender and Rights in South Africa provides the most rigorous analysis of the HIV epidemic that I have read. Revolutionary in its approach, Hunter’s account of the HIV epidemic interrogates the practices and impact of intimacy, sex and marriage over time through political economy and anthropology.

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Review by Jeneviève Mannell
Gender Institute
London School of Economics & Political Science
Psychology in Society, 2011, 41, 59-61

Gender and aids: exploring an intimate relationship

Love in the Time of AIDS explores notions of love and intimacy among South Africans as a means of shedding some light on the overwhelming rise in HIV prevalence in some areas of the country from one to 30 percent in only 15 years. Drawing the reader through the history of South Africa's political economy from colonialism to the postapartheid and capitalist era, the book provides a compelling account of the ways in which economic forces have interacted with individual ideas about love and sex to produce what Hunter refers to as the "materiality of everyday sex" – where love and relationships are intimately linked with sex for material benefits.

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Review by Allison Goebel
Queen’s University
International Journal of African Historical Studies; 2011, Vol. 44 Issue 3, p460-461

This remarkable, readable book uses ethnography and historical analysis to offer a fresh look at the HIV and AIDS pandemic in South Africa. Multiple study visits to Mandeni in KwaZulu-Natal from the year 2000, yielded in-depth participant observations and interviews with residents in both the formal township and sprawling informal settlement around Isithebe, the large industrial complex set up in the 1970s and 1980s.

View 176 

Review by Kate Devis
University of Sussex, School of Global Studies (Arts C), Falmer, Brighton BN1 9SJ, UK;
Sexually Transmitted Infections, 2011; 87:457

Love in the Time of AIDS uses a historical ethnographic approach to consider influences on the current presentation of the AIDS pandemic in South Africa. The growing population of Mandeni, KwaZulu-Natal, where Hunter spent periods of time between 2000 and 2009, is the focus of the ethnographic research. This extended fieldwork facilitated reflection of ongoing changes, such as fluctuating employment levels and shifting gender roles. It also allowed strong relationships to be built with informants who afforded access to local concepts of intimacy by providing narratives, love letters and text messages.

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Review by Deevia Bhana
University of KwaZulu Natal
Global Public Health 2011, 1-3

African sexualities are the locus of intense surveillance particularly as the HIV pandemic continues to have calamitous effects on the continent.


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In some parts of South Africa, more than one in three people are HIV positive. Love in the Time of AIDS explores transformations in notions of gender and intimacy to try to understand the roots of this virulent epidemic.


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Southern Africa

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