Resilience and Contagion
Invoking Human Rights in African HIV Advocacy
About this Item
McGill-Queen's Studies in Gender, Sexuality, and Social Justice in the Global South
McGill-Queen's University Press
HIV represents not only an unprecedented pandemic but also a site of civil society innovation. In the midst of devastation, activists in sub-Saharan Africa are progressing from traditional forms of health advocacy to strategies that engage human rights principles, techniques, and language. Employing a comparative case-study approach, Resilience and Contagion considers the efforts of nine local civil society organizations in Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, and Botswana. Kristi Heather Kenyon examines who adopts rights-based discourse and why, arguing that leadership, individual beliefs, and structure all play a critical role in framing advocacy. Beyond changing laws or policies, the most important impact of promoting the rights of people living with HIV, she attests, is that it enables individuals to interact with health services from a position of resilience, strength, and empowerment. This book delves into discourse at the juncture of human rights, social theory, and global health, prompting significant and relevant discussion on advocacy's evolution in the region of the world hit hardest by the HIV pandemic. Drawing on 145 interviews, extensive participant observation, and fascinating document analysis, Resilience and Contagion foregrounds the voices of civil society actors who have conducted the most vocal, widespread, and innovative health advocacy to date.