Event Name POSTPONED: AIDS in Pakistan: HIV prevention, public morality and religious leaders
Start Date 6th Apr 2018 3:00pm
End Date 6th Apr 2018 5:00pm
Duration 2 hours
Description

My ethnography of HIV/AIDS in Pakistan examines the effects of the response to the epidemic on areas of bureaucracy, public goods, and civil society. In this paper, I further explore the relationship between public morality and HIV prevention, with a focus on the involvement of religious leaders as an intervention strategy. This question is of specific interest in Pakistan, in light of the country's conservative religious and legal context, where non-therapeutic use of drugs is illegal and homosexuality is punishable by death under the Islamic Hudood Ordinances. It is a conundrum for the state that, for HIV prevention, it must work with these criminalized groups where the epidemic has been concentrated. How do state officials who are responsible for prevention activities navigate a public morality, backed by law, that delegitimises these groups as dirty, un-Islamic, and ‘involved in acts that are against the Quran’? What role are religious leaders expected to play in HIV prevention in this context of the illegality of the ‘most-at-risk’, vulnerable sections of population? 

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