Accepted Paper:

Of docile bodies and problematic persons: providing and living with antiretroviral medicines in urban Tanzania  
Dominik Mattes (Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin)

Paper long abstract:

Few years into the roll-out of antiretroviral treatment in Tanzania thousands of HIV-positive patients are now living with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). The production of treatment adherence constitutes the priority of medical professionals who are transferring the "biomedical truth" about the therapy to the patients. In this paper the procedures of getting access to treatment in urban Tanga and the mechanisms of controlling the patients' behavior throughout the life-long treatment are analyzed along the lines of recent debates on "therapeutic citizenship". It is argued that this concept does not entirely capture the processes taking place at health facilities and in the patients' social environments. Precarious economic situations, the dependency on kinship-based networks of support, and the adherence to traditional and religious practices of healing in some cases generate a stance of "resistance" towards the pharmaceuticalization of even the most intimate spheres of life through the biomedically defined treatment regime.

Panel W091
Medicating crisis