Should this be a behavioral approach that focuses upon the individual actions of high-risk groups or should the continued spread of the virus be linked to broader social, economic and political forces operating from the local to the global?

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One of the major debates in academic work on HIV/AIDS lies between the suggested

approaches for addressing the problem. Should this be a behavioral approach that focuses

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upon the individual actions of high-risk groups or should the continued spread of the virus

be linked to broader social, economic and political forces operating from the local to the


The quotations above exemplify these different approaches. For this assignment, we would

like you to critically read two examples of contemporary research on HIV/AIDS with

this debate in mind. The purpose of this assignment is to:

1) Locate academic articles using the university academic journal searching system.

2) Review the arguments, theoretical frameworks, and conclusions of two

academic articles. Then, use your analytical skills to compare and contrast them.

3) Develop an understanding for the differing theoretical approaches to

understanding HIV/AIDS that come from differing disciplines.

4) Acknowledge how these different methods and different conceptualizations of

how disease is spread affect the type of work produced and ultimately the form of

policy initiatives produced.

5) Practice written communication.

Step one: Locating the articles

Faria, C. (2008) ‘Privileging prevention, gendering responsibility: an analysis of the

Ghanaian campaign against HIV/AIDS’, Social & Cultural Geography, 9:1, 41-73.

Mill, J. and Anarfi, J. (2002) ‘HIV Risk environment for Ghanaian Women: Challenges to

Prevention,’ Social Science & Medicine 54, 325-337.

First go the university library web page at

Click on ‘e-journals’

Click on ‘S’ or search for ‘Social Science and Medicine’ by writing this in the text box.

Locate the journal and article and print. Note: To print the full text from off campus, login

with your

UW login and password in the upper right of the e-journal page.

Step two: Analyzing the articles

We would like you to compare and contrast the articles, discussing aspects that are of interest

to you and focusing on the similarities and differences between the papers. Your analysis

might include the following key areas.

A short paragraph introducing each of the articles, the background disciplines and ways of

thinking for the each of the authors, and the journal and dates of publication.

A short paragraph including the basic outline of each of the studies and the conclusions of

their work.

The third section should be less descriptive and more critical- it may include comments on

the following. You do not need to include all or any of these- they are simply here to guide

you. You can think and talk about any similarities and differences in the texts.

• From which disciplines are the authors writing? (which departments are they working

in)? How might this affect the approach they take?

• Both articles discuss women and HIV. Compare and contrast the methodological

differences that inform perceptions of women. How does perception affect or shape

health interventions?

• Is gender and unequal gender relations incorporated in each analysis? If so, how?

• How are women conceptualized in each analysis? (As Victims? As Vectors of

disease? As Vulnerable? As Empowered? As Passive?)

• Are risk factors assumed to be based on individual actions rooted in personal

psychology and sexual behavior, social circumstances, the political or economic

context, cultural factors? A combination? Are any factors left out? Is this problematic

or does it create any shortcomings in the argument?

• What new insights did each of the articles give you? How was each useful to you?

Conclude by reinstating the main argument of your paper – talking about what you liked

about each of the pieces and what you found interesting or what you found problematic?

What policies for addressing the problem does each article suggest?

While you may focus on all of these issues, often focusing on the few points you find most

interesting can produce a more thorough analysis than attempts to analyze and synthesize



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