Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. Ann Miles

Second Advisor

Dr. Vin Lyon-Callo

Third Advisor

Dr. Jim Butterfield


Over 20 percent of the South African population has HIV/AIDS. In addition, South Africa is cited as having the fastest growing AIDS epidemic in the world. The reasons for the rapid spread of the virus and the high infection rates are not merely biological. In fact, South Africa's AIDS epidemic has been influenced by and influences the cultural, social and political realities in South Africa. The critical lens of anthropology offers a comprehensive examination of the scope of the pandemic. In this paper, I will: (1) address the role of anthropological theory in the study of HIV/AIDS, (2) discuss the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the specific contexts of South Africa, (3) analyze the unique circumstances under which the South African state has responded to HIV/AIDS, and (4) present my research on the response of South African civil society to the AIDS epidemic.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only