Drawing from an ethnography of HIV care in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, in this article I explore how the social imaginary surrounding gender relations shapes men's experiences of seeking care for and living with HIV.
Popular understandings of gender relations, which draw heavily on the machismo concept, intersect with a global health master narrative that frames women as victims in the AIDS epidemic in a way that generates a strong sentiment of blaming machismo within local HIV/AIDS-related services. Statements such as, "it's because of machismo" are used to explain away epidemiological trends. Participant observation in the context of HIV care, coupled with illness narrative interviews, illuminate how blaming machismo shapes men's experiences of care and the ways that they feel excluded from various forms of support.
Thus, the illness experiences of men with HIV problematize the machismo concept and how it is drawn upon in the context of care.
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By: Heckert C1.
- 1 University of Texas at El Paso.
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