PhD dissertation: "Medicines for Life" – University of Copenhagen

03 April 2013

PhD dissertation: "Medicines for Life"

- Confidentiality and Information Control in the Lives of Clients and Providers in Ugandan ART Programs


PhD disserrtation by Jenipher Twebaze, Department of Anthropology

The thesis examines the ambiguities surrounding confidentiality in Ugandan antiretroviral treatment (ART) programs and is based on extensive ethnographic research conducted in a variety of clinical settings, covering both urban and rural areas and NGO and public health care facilities.

Since the early days of the AIDS epidemic, treatment programmes have been promising confidentiality for people who test for HIV while at the same time encouraging people to be open about their HIV status.

HIV/AIDS social information control
The thesis explores this dilemma and the main argument is that while confidentiality is still defined as an ideal ethical standard in Ugandan HIV/AIDS treatment programs, it is hardly ever adhered to in practice. Outside of treatment centres, in contrast, people manage to control information about their HIV status more successfully.

More generally speaking the thesis looks at clients’ and providers’ attempts to control information in different settings and social situations, inside and outside of the clinic.

The dissertation can now be bought at Academic Books, CSS, Øster Farimagsgade 5, DK-1014 Copenhagen K.