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Making Sense of AIDSCulture, Sexuality, and Power in Melanesia$
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Leslie Butt and Richard Eves

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831936

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831936.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021



Deconstructing the Awareness Campaign in Rural West New Britain, Papua New Guinea

(p.224) 12 SikAIDS
Making Sense of AIDS

Naomi M. McPherson

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the HIV/AIDS awareness campaign in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. In West New Britain, the awareness campaign assumes a Western model of disease transmission and fails to make a connection between cause, infection, and effect. Even more importantly, in thoroughly Western biomedical style, the campaign dismisses the spiritual as irrelevant to disease causation and cure, whereas the spiritual—be it ancestors, spirit beings, the Holy Spirit, or sorcery—is very much part of the Papua New Guinean peoples' struggle to understand the causes and cures of HIV/AIDS. Indeed, including the spiritual may have more impact on an AIDS awareness campaign than efforts to show that healthy-looking people in posters are really dying.

Keywords:   HIV awareness, AIDS awareness, West New Britain, Western biomedicine, spiritual, disease transmission

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