One of the major debates in academic work on HIV/AIDS lies between the suggested
approaches for addressing the problem. Should this be a behavioral approach that focuses
upon the individual actions of high-risk groups or should the continued spread of the virus
be linked to broader social, economic and political forces operating from the local to the
The quotations above exemplify these different approaches. For this assignment, we would
like you to critically read two examples of contemporary research on HIV/AIDS with
this debate in mind. The purpose of this assignment is to:
1) Locate academic articles using the university academic journal searching system.
2) Review the arguments, theoretical frameworks, and conclusions of two
academic articles. Then, use your analytical skills to compare and contrast them.
4) Acknowledge how these different methods and different conceptualizations of
how disease is spread affect the type of work produced and ultimately the form of
policy initiatives produced.
5) Practice written communication.
Step one: Locating the articles
Faria, C. (2008) ‘Privileging prevention, gendering responsibility: an analysis of the
Ghanaian campaign against HIV/AIDS’, Social & Cultural Geography, 9:1, 41-73.
Mill, J. and Anarfi, J. (2002) ‘HIV Risk environment for Ghanaian Women: Challenges to
Prevention,’ Social Science & Medicine 54, 325-337.
First go the university library web page at http://www.lib.washington.edu/
Click on ‘e-journals’
Click on ‘S’ or search for ‘Social Science and Medicine’ by writing this in the text box.
Locate the journal and article and print. Note: To print the full text from off campus, login
UW login and password in the upper right of the e-journal page.
Step two: Analyzing the articles
We would like you to compare and contrast the articles, discussing aspects that are of interest
to you and focusing on the similarities and differences between the papers. Your analysis
might include the following key areas.
A short paragraph introducing each of the articles, the background disciplines and ways of
thinking for the each of the authors, and the journal and dates of publication.
A short paragraph including the basic outline of each of the studies and the conclusions of
The third section should be less descriptive and more critical- it may include comments on
the following. You do not need to include all or any of these- they are simply here to guide
you. You can think and talk about any similarities and differences in the texts.
From which disciplines are the authors writing? (which departments are they working
in)? How might this affect the approach they take?
Both articles discuss women and HIV. Compare and contrast the methodological
differences that inform perceptions of women. How does perception affect or shape
Is gender and unequal gender relations incorporated in each analysis? If so, how?
How are women conceptualized in each analysis? (As Victims? As Vectors of
disease? As Vulnerable? As Empowered? As Passive?)
Are risk factors assumed to be based on individual actions rooted in personal
psychology and sexual behavior, social circumstances, the political or economic
context, cultural factors? A combination? Are any factors left out? Is this problematic
or does it create any shortcomings in the argument?
What new insights did each of the articles give you? How was each useful to you?
Conclude by reinstating the main argument of your paper – talking about what you liked
about each of the pieces and what you found interesting or what you found problematic?
What policies for addressing the problem does each article suggest?
While you may focus on all of these issues, often focusing on the few points you find most
interesting can produce a more thorough analysis than attempts to analyze and synthesize