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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(4), 4321-4339; doi:10.3390/ijerph120404321

Traditional Healing, Biomedicine and the Treatment of HIV/AIDS: Contrasting South African and Native American Experiences

School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS), University of Bristol, 11 Priory Road, Bristol BS8 1TU, UK
Academic Editor: Janet Seeley
Received: 23 December 2014 / Revised: 23 March 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 20 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HIV/AIDS: Social Perspectives)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [708 KB, uploaded 20 April 2015]

Abstract

Traditional healing remains an important aspect of many people’s engagement with healthcare and, in this, responses to the treatment of HIV/AIDS are no different. However, given the gravity of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, there has been much debate as to the value of traditional healing in this respect. Accordingly, this paper explores the extent to which meaningful accommodation between the biomedical and traditional sectors is possible (and/or even desirable). It does this through a consideration of Native American and South African experiences, looking at how the respective groups, in which medical pluralism is common, have addressed the issue of HIV/AIDS. The paper points to the importance of developing “culturally appropriate” forms of treatment that emphasise complementary rather than adversarial engagement between the traditional and biomedical systems and how policymakers can best facilitate this. View Full-Text
Keywords: traditional healing; biomedicine; Native American; South African; HIV/AIDS; ART traditional healing; biomedicine; Native American; South African; HIV/AIDS; ART
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Flint, A. Traditional Healing, Biomedicine and the Treatment of HIV/AIDS: Contrasting South African and Native American Experiences. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 4321-4339.

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