On the virgin cleansing myth: gendered bodies, AIDS and ethnomedicine

  title={On the virgin cleansing myth: gendered bodies, AIDS and ethnomedicine},
  author={Suzanne M Leclerc-Madlala},
  journal={African Journal of AIDS Research},
  pages={87 - 95}
The belief that HIV/AIDS can be cured as a result of having sex with a virgin has been identified as a possible factor in the rape of babies and children in South Africa. [] Key Method Based on ethnographic research in several peri-urban settlements of KwaZulu-Natal province, key aspects of ethnomedical knowledge associated with notions of 'dirt' and women's bodies are examined along with the metaphors that inform local interpretations of HIV/AIDS.
Contexts of vulnerability: Sex, secrecy and HIV/AIDS
This paper uses three illustrative vignettes to draw attention to some major areas of HIV/AIDS vulnerability related to the themes of sex and secrecy within households and families and calls for researchers to be aware that AIDS stigma may render the very act of research a source of danger to those affected by HIV and AIDS.
HIV/AIDS and ‘othering’ in South Africa: The blame goes on
Results reveal how cultural and racial positionings mediate perceptions of the groups considered to be responsible and thus vulnerable to HIV infection and AIDS.
Chapter 2 The Sociocultural Aspects of HIV / AIDS in South Africa
This chapter will focus on some sociocultural aspects of life within the majority black African population of South Africa, most of whom speak languages that are classified within the broad linguistic grouping of Bantu languages.
Infected Condoms and Pin-Pricked Oranges: An Ethnographic Study of AIDS Legends in Two Townships in Cape Town
Introduction With nearly six million cases of reported HIV infections (UNAIDS 2010), South Africa has the highest number of HIV-infected persons in the world. The majority of those infected are black
"Living in two worlds" : optimizing our indigenous knowledge systems to address the modern pandemic, HIV and AIDS
This study promotes the use of Zulu traditional sexuality education to curb the rate of HIV infection among young Zulu people and makes suggestions about how the Life Orientation Grades 10—12 curriculum can be used to includetraditional sexuality education for this purpose.
Shaming and blaming: Medical myths, traditional health practitioners and HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
Field evidence is utilised to suggest that, given mutual respect, THPs can be successfully drawn into biomedical prevention and treatment interventions, and thereby improve their efficacy.
Field evidence is utilised to suggest that, given mutual respect, THPs can be successfully drawn into biomedical prevention and treatment interventions, and thereby improve their efficacy.
Circumcision and prevention of HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe: Male genital cutting as a religio-cultural rite
  • T. Rugwiji
  • Political Science
    HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies
  • 2018
Circumcision originated from ancient religious (biblical) and cultural societies. Study has shown that in both the biblical (Israelite) context and among the Karanga people in Zimbabwe circumcision
Women's vulnerability, sexual power and prevention of stigma : what do prevention campaigns tell us
The HIV-epidemic that is evident in South Africa today is infecting more women than men. This is mostly due to the vulnerability that women are facing in sexual relationships, where they are not able


Virginity testing: managing sexuality in a maturing HIV/AIDS epidemic.
It is argued that virginity testing is an attempt to manage the epidemic by exerting greater control over women and their sexuality and helps to draw attention away from the role of men in the maturing epidemic.
‘In sexual life women are hunters’: AIDS and women who drain men's bodies. The case of the meru of Northern Tanzania
  • L. Haram
  • Sociology, Political Science
  • 2001
Abstract This article is based on field research among the Meru people who live in the Arusha Region in northern Tanzania (from 1989 until 1995). It explores why women are seen as the cause and
Infant rape in South Africa
Reducing the risk of HIV infection among South African sex workers: socioeconomic and gender barriers.
Recommendations to reduce the sex workers' risk for HIV infection include negotiation and communication skills to enable them to persuade their clients to use condoms and development of strategies through which they can maximally use their group strength to facilitate unified action.
Sociocultural aspects of tuberculosis control in Ethiopia.
Examination of ethnomedical knowledge and practices related to tuberculosis conceptualization and management in a rural southern Ethiopian community shows that while symptomatological concepts coincide with biomedicine, the local etiological model postulates empirically based causational factors unrelated to tuberculosis.
Premarital Pregnancy and Native Opinion. A Note on Social Change
In his recent writings on the subject of marriage and kinship, Malinowski has repeatedly emphasized what he terms the ‘principle legitimacy’. By this he means the rule, found in all human societies,
Problematizing pollution: Dirty wombs, ritual pollution, and pathological processes
Ethnographies, particularly from Southern Africa, often suggest that there is a single notion of pollution as a state of ‘ritual’ impurity, which in medical anthropology can be found as an
AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa: the epidemiology of heterosexual transmission and the prospects for prevention.
Key areas for development are the study of behavioral exposures and outcomes, the evaluation of interventions, developing new methods for conducting interventions in resource-poor environments, and increasing the number of African scientists with the skills and resources to conduct epidemiologic studies.
Motivation behind infant rape in South Africa [letter]
This letter to the editor defends the authors’ earlier letter that aimed to highlight infant rape with associated perineal injury and disputed the assertion that virgin cleansing myth is an important cause of child sexual abuse.
Dry and tight: sexual practices and potential AIDS risk in Zaire.