Document Type



Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Structural inequities, violence and oppression render young women in rural Uganda highly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Their decision-making powers, control over their bodies and sexuality, and access to sexual health resources are critically limited or wholly absent. Yet, prevailing HIV/AIDS programming, notably the President's Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), emphasizes individual behaviour change to combat HIV/AIDS at the expense of wider societal considerations. This study explores the life experiences of a group of young Ugandan women and argues that the political and ideological battle of ownership (national as well as global) over the HIV/AIDS prevention discourse not only disregards these young women's experiences, but also undermines their human security by further exacerbating their vulnerability to the disease. I maintain that if HIV/AIDS interventions are to be effective, the complex and nuanced socio-economic and cultural factors of local context must inform national and distal global policies and programming priorities.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Canadian Journal of African Studies/La Revue canadienne des études africaines