Routines, Hope, and Antiretroviral Treatment among Men and Women in Uganda

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Abstract

Antiretroviral treatment programs, despite biomedical emphases, require social understanding and transformations to be successful. In this article, we draw from a qualitative study of HIV treatment seeking to examine the drug-taking routines and health-related subjectivities of men and women on antiretroviral treatment (ART) at two sites in Uganda. We show that while not all participants in ART programs understand clinical protocols in biomedical terms, they adopt treatment-taking strategies to integrate medication into daily practices and social spaces. In turn, these embedded practices and understandings shape long-term hopes and fears for living with HIV, including the possibility of a cure. More significant than new forms of citizenship or sociality, we suggest that quotidian dimensions of treatment normalization shape the long-term experience of medication and outlook for the future.

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