A Plague of Paradoxes: AIDS, Culture and Demography in Northern Tanzania

Since recording its first AIDS cases in 1983, Tanzania has reported nearly 90,000 more to the World Health Organization - more than any other country in Africa. The AIDS epidemic has forced Africans to reflect upon the meaning of traditional ideas and practices related to sexuality and fertility, and upon modernity and biomedicine. In this book, anthropologist Philip Setel observes Tanzania's Chagga people and their attempts to cope with and understand AIDS. The work presents an extended case study of the 20th-century AIDS epidemic and the cultural circumstances from which it emerged. It brings together anthropology, demography and epidemiology to explain how a particular community in Africa experiences AIDS.