Navigating HIV, pregnancy, and childbearing in South India: Pragmatics and constraints in women's decision making

Cecilia Van Hollen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Based on ethnographic research conducted in 2004 and 2002-3, this article examines how poor women living with HIV in Tamilnadu, India navigate decisions about pregnancy and birth, and demonstrates that these decisions are influenced by a complex web of sociocultural factors. I argue that these decisions are informed by: 1) institutional interests of the state, NGOs, and international aid donors; 2). cultural constructions of gender and of the self; 3). Christian-based organizations; and 4). support group organizations, known as "networks" for people living with HIV/AIDS. Childbearing decisions emerged through a synthesis of coexisting structures and discourses which sometimes converged at the same conclusion despite differences in their underlying logics. I argue that the discourse of "positive living" fostered by the networks provided women with a framework for making reproductive decisions that was enabling. The article highlights how women pragmatically negotiated these various factors as they engaged in reproductive decision-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-52
Number of pages46
JournalMedical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

Keywords

  • HIV/AIDS
  • India
  • Pragmatics
  • Reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Navigating HIV, pregnancy, and childbearing in South India: Pragmatics and constraints in women's decision making'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this