Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Love, Money, and HIV

Love, Money, and HIV: Becoming a Modern African Woman in the Age of AIDS

Sanyu A. Mojola
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: 1
Pages: 286
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Love, Money, and HIV
    Book Description:

    How do modern women in developing countries experience sexuality and love? Drawing on a rich array of interview, ethnographic, and survey data from her native country of Kenya, Sanyu A. Mojola examines how young African women, who suffer disproportionate rates of HIV infection compared to young African men, navigate their relationships, schooling, employment, and finances in the context of economic inequality and a devastating HIV epidemic. Writing from a unique outsider-insider perspective, Mojola argues that the entanglement of love, money, and the transformation of girls into "consuming women" lies at the heart of women’s coming-of-age and health crises. At once engaging and compassionate, this text is an incisive analysis of gender, sexuality, and health in Africa.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95850-0
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Sanyu Amimo Mojola
  5. 1 A Stubborn Disparity
    (pp. 1-31)

    The bustling city of Kisumu, the capital of Nyanza province, Kenya, lies nestled by Lake Victoria, the largest freshwater lake in Africa, and only a few miles from the equator. A stroll through its main streets yields a display of an apparent clash of worlds and cultures. There is the Africa we know: the busy human drama ofmitumba(secondhand clothing) women, market traders and hawkers, street children, fishermen and the pungent smell of fresh and smoking fish, house flies and mosquitos, numerous bicycles andmatatus(public transportation vehicles) hooting through the town, and travelers stopping by on the way to...

  6. 2 Consuming Women, Modernity, and HIV Risk
    (pp. 32-50)

    In this chapter, I will show how consumption has become an integral part of what it means to be a modern woman, and situate this identity transformation within the linked sites of gendered and sexual economies that many young women inhabit. I pay particular attention to transactional sex relationships, and show how they are a product of the entanglement of love and money not just in relationships across Africa, but also in the United States, both historically and in contemporary times. In doing this, I will show how the entwinement of intimacy and money is not unique to Africa; rather,...

  7. 3 Historical and Cultural Context
    (pp. 51-77)

    Toward the end of my fieldwork, on a hot Kisumu day, as I sat in amatatuwaiting for it to fill up with passengers before taking me and my assistant Rose to our next interview, it occurred to me to investigate the etymology of the Luo word for HIV/AIDS,ayaki. For languages to stay current and useful, new words have to be invented in that language—for example, a computer or the mouse that accompanies it. AIDS was a “new” disease, so I wondered where its name had come from and what meaning was attached to that name. Rose’s...

  8. 4 Love, Money, and HIV Prevention
    (pp. 78-111)

    When people embark on intimate relationships, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are often the last thing on their minds. Further, even as young people select their partners, they are rarely aware of the bird’s-eye view or the STI/HIV riskenvironmentin which they are making their choices. Yet it is precisely these environments that may turn innocuous, culturally intelligible relationship choices into dangerous ones. As this chapter will illustrate, in Nyanza, the disease environment in which relationship logics governing sexual relationship choices—and nonchoices—unfolded resulted in high risk for young women and protection and temporary safety for young men. I...

  9. 5 School and the Production of Consuming Women
    (pp. 112-149)

    For many young women, completing a high school education without getting pregnant or contracting HIV was an anomaly and was tied in important ways to the role of consumption and money in romantic relationships. In this chapter, I will explore in greater depth the role of school in complicating young women’s attempts to stay HIV free. I first begin by describing the complicated relationship between education and HIV in the literature, before discussing the rise and popularity of mass education as a means for social mobility in Kenya, and its role in creating modern subjects. The chapter will then focus...

  10. 6 Gendered Economies and the Role of Ecology in HIV Risk
    (pp. 150-182)

    The obvious solution to consuming women’s challenge of meeting continual needs requiring consumption of modern goods seems to be for them to find or create jobs to earn their own money. However, in this chapter, I unpack a final startling paradox and examine why women who work have higher rates of HIV. The chapter begins with a discussion of how young women transitioning out of school and into the labor force confronted a gendered economic structure—gendered in access to jobs and, as a result, gendered in access to income. Economies are gendered when they structure occupations in gendered ways....

  11. 7 “To Stem HIV in Africa, Prevent Transmission to Young Women”
    (pp. 183-195)

    In several African countries where almost half the population is under age 15, millions of girls will be transitioning to adulthood in contexts where prevailing HIV-prevalence rates are 5–10% (in East Africa) and 10–25% (in Southern Africa). The continued existence of these high-HIV-risk environments makes preventing HIV transmission to young women acriticalgoal in order to prevent millions more young women from becoming infected in the years to come. Women in this life-course stage are important to focus on not just in their own right—because of their earlier and higher rates of acquisition of HIV relative...

  12. Epilogue: The Magic Bullet?
    (pp. 196-202)

    The statistics from the latest UNAIDS report, while still grim, suggest that the tide is turning on the HIV/AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa.¹ The estimated number of new cases remains high at 1.8 million each year, but that is 25% lower than 2001, which saw 2.4 million new cases. The subcontinent still accounts for 71% of new infections globally, but it has seen the second-largest decline (25%) across world regions. Additionally, life-prolonging antiretroviral therapy (ART) is starting to be rolled out across the continent. Currently just over half (56%) of Africans who need the medication are receiving it.² Reflecting this...

  13. Appendix
    (pp. 203-206)
  14. Notes
    (pp. 207-230)
  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 231-262)
  16. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 263-266)
  17. Index
    (pp. 267-276)