Cultural dimensions of sexuality: empowerment challenge for HIV/AIDS prevention in Botswana
Ntseane, P. G.
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This paper argues that sex has to be analyzed and understood from a sociological perspective because sex in itself has a social function. A phenomenological study that was carried out among five ethnic groups of Botswana revealed the importance of taking into account cultural sexual realities when prevention strategies for HIV/AIDS are considered and implemented. Furthermore the study threw light on the ineffectiveness of the current national HIV/AIDS prevention strategy of ‘Abstain, Be faithful, and use a Condom’ (ABC), a strategy borrowed from the Christian cultural morality of sex. Therefore, this paper advocates for empowerment processes that take into consideration local ways of knowing and delivery modes such as participatory approaches. An effective and sustainable alternative to the current national ‘ABC’ strategy is to engage people meaningfully in analyzing their current cultural situation and coming up with working strategies that can make a difference in a country seriously affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.