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Crying for Our EldersAfrican Orphanhood in the Age of HIV and AIDS$
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Kristen E. Cheney

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226437408

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226437682.001.0001

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Suffering, Silence, and Status: the Lived Experience of Orphanhood

Suffering, Silence, and Status: the Lived Experience of Orphanhood

Chapter:
(p.107) 6 Suffering, Silence, and Status: the Lived Experience of Orphanhood
Source:
Crying for Our Elders
Author(s):

Kristen E. Cheney

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226437682.003.0007

This chapter draws on youth participatory ethnographic fieldwork to provide a deeper understanding of the ways that children affected by AIDS actually experience orphanhood. It explores the social context of AIDS as a both a cause of social suffering and a context for the suffering of individual children, primarily due to the continued stigma of HIV/AIDS in Uganda that makes one’s status unspeakable. After a brief discussion of the methodological challenges posed by silences around suffering due to HIV/AIDS, the chapter discusses children’s and their caregivers’ efforts to cope with their circumstances and secure the resources necessary for survival in the aftermath of parental loss. It ends with a summary discussion of youth RAs’ recommendations for appropriate responses to AIDS-affected children’s suffering, including the contentious question of disclosure of HIV status.

Keywords:   coping strategies, HIV disclosure, HIV status, methodology, orphans, silence, stigma, suffering

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