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Biomedical Beliefs and Practices Amongst Traditional Health Practitioners
Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 10:00

University of Cape Town’s School of Public Health and Family Medicine’s Division of Social and Behavioural Science has just launched a new blog called ‘Fieldnotes’. It aims to share perspectives and research from researchers and practitioners in public health and social sciences. Read Lesley’s post Biomedical Beliefs and Practices Amongst Traditional Health Practitioners here.

Xenophobia as a manifestation of hegemonic masculinities in South Africa: a CSSR Seminar with Lauren October
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 12:00

While conducting a study on social cohesion and xenophobia in the Western and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa, many of the reasons respondents gave for xenophobic violence seemed to be rooted in ideas of masculinity. In all the research sites there was an overwhelming perception that foreign nationals are taking things that belong to South Africans. However, this perception was dominant among the male population, and xenophobic resentment was mainly aimed towards male foreign nationals. This was especially evident within the Eastern Cape sites, which had predominantly Xhosa communities.  It could therefore be surmised that there was some link between xenophobia and the hegemonic masculinity present in the Eastern Cape. The purpose of my paper is to use ethnographic research in the form of qualitative interviews from Motherwell and Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape to find out how constructions of hegemonic masculinities at the local level can contribute to xenophobic resentment.

Challenges in the Realisation of Inheritance Rights in the Customary Law of Succession: A CSSR Seminar with Fatima Osman
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 10:30

Historically, the customary law of succession was characterised by the principle of male primogeniture. This is the notion that succession is through the male line and men succeed to the exclusion of women. The principle which formed part of a larger framework to ensure the well-being of the family and group as a whole, was distorted during colonialism and apartheid to bolster the rights of men at the expense of women and children. Unsurprisingly, the customary law of succession has been subjected to major reform by the legislature and courts in the last few years. The Reform of Customary Law of Succession Act[1] (‘the Reform Act’) was meant to address inequality in the rights of women and children under customary law and applies the common law Intestate Succession Act[2] to regulate customary law succession.

 

 
Extracting and measuring the latent factors that determine risk perceptions in agriculture : A CSSR Seminar with Ivo Wustrow
Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 13:30

The process of extracting latent factors from survey data using factor analysis is used commonly in the psychology literature to diagnose underlying psychological conditions like depression from questionnaires. This research aims to apply the same techniques (namely principal-component factor analysis) to identify the components of risk perception that drive the variation in often seemingly unrelated attitudes of farmers in the Karoo. Multiple analyses on samples extracted from two waves of longitudinal data are conducted in order to verify the variable structure of risk components in the community and Cronbach's alpha is used as a reliability measure to test the degree to which the variables that constitute each extracted component measure a single construct. These tests provide insight into the efficacy with which the survey questions are measuring intended aspects of a population and has implications for survey design. Because the data spans four years in the population under consideration and new variables are included in the second wave of questioning, the effect that new, severe threats have on the structure of risk components are also estimated.

 

Integrating collaborative, ethnographically-informed qualitative research in HIV experimental science: A CSSR Seminar with Dr Lindsey Reynolds and co-Authors: Lindsey Reynolds, Graeme Hoddinott, Lario Viljoen, Janet Seeley and Ginny Bond
Friday, August 31, 2018 - 15:00

The presentation will reflect on the pragmatic, political, epistemological and methodological possibilities and challenges of conducting collaborative longitudinal qualitative research with families in 21 study communities in South Africa and Zambia in the context of a large-scale cluster randomised HIV prevention trial. Through describing the will describe the design and conduct of the qualitative cohort study nested within this one trial context, the presentation will explore the benefits and limitations of forms of knowledge produced through this approach. Further, it will think through broader possibilities for and implications of integrating collaborative ethnographic and social scientific research into population-based clinical trials and public health research.

Integrating collaborative, ethnographically-informed qualitative research in HIV experimental science: A CSSR Seminar with Dr Lindsey Reynolds and co-Authors: Lindsey Reynolds, Graeme Hoddinott, Lario Viljoen, Janet Seeley and Ginny Bond
Friday, August 31, 2018 - 15:00

The presentation will reflect on the pragmatic, political, epistemological and methodological possibilities and challenges of conducting collaborative longitudinal qualitative research with families in 21 study communities in South Africa and Zambia in the context of a large-scale cluster randomised HIV prevention trial. Through describing the will describe the design and conduct of the qualitative cohort study nested within this one trial context, the presentation will explore the benefits and limitations of forms of knowledge produced through this approach. Further, it will think through broader possibilities for and implications of integrating collaborative ethnographic and social scientific research into population-based clinical trials and public health research.

Mzantsi Wakho, AIDS and Society Research, researcher Lesley Gittings poster presentation at AIDS2018
Thursday, August 30, 2018 - 10:00
“It was a really great experience, it was a two-way dialogue,” recalls Mzantsi Wakho’s Lesley Gittings about her poster presentation at AIDS2018
TB or not TB: A data-driven approach to identify putative pulmonary TB in low-resource settings: A CSSR seminar with Siyanai Zhou and Elona Toska
Friday, August 17, 2018 - 15:30

Tuberculosis is one of the most common causes of death in the era of HIV/AIDS. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), South Africa houses third largest global burdens of tuberculosis (TB) after India and China, and 28% of the world’s cases involve HIV-TB co-infection. Recent studies in South Africa indicate that <10% of patients attending clinics for TB-related symptoms were screened for TB and TB screening among people living with HIV is around 80%. Among those tested for TB, the availability of results in patient files is limited. Thus, accurate estimates for rates of TB infection remain unknown, particularly for high-risk populations. Recently, provider-initiated TB case-finding has become an integral part of HIV care in resource-poor settings. However, studies comparing symptom-based screening with sputum tests suggest that current symptom screening has poor sensitivity. This presentation will illustrate the use of latent class analysis to empirically identify distinct patterns of self-reported pulmonary TB symptoms from the second wave of Mzantsi Wakho study – the world’s largest cohort of adolescents living with HIV. In turn, given low rates of TB screening and accurate testing in the South Africa this will help to estimate rates of pulmonary TB infection among this high-risk population as well as explore a simple symptom screening checklist that may be crucial for more effective case finding and follow-up treatment in high-burden, low-resource contexts like South Africa.

International AIDS Conference 2018
Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - 11:30

The Mzantsi Wakho and HEY BABY teams – based at ASRU – gave 14 presentations at the International AIDS Conference 2018 and associated events, held on July 19-27, 2018 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Dr Elona Toska presented early findings on pregnancy among adolescents living with HIV in South Africa from the HEY BABY and Mzantsi Wakho studies, while Lesley Gittings presented research on adolescent and provider views on adherence and defaulting, an initiative led by Dr Rebecca Hodes, ASRU director, in collaboration with the Paediatric Adolescent Treatment for Africa.

Child mobility and household strategies in the context of labour migration. A CSSR seminar with Katharine Hall
Wednesday, August 8, 2018 - 11:45

 

South Africa has uniquely high rates of parental absence from children’s lives. Apartheid-era restrictions on population movement and residential arrangements contributed to family fragmentation, particularly when adults – mainly men – migrated to work in cities and on the mines. Despite the removal of legal impediments to permanent urban settlement and family co-residence for Africans, patterns of internal and oscillating labour migration have endured, dual or stretched households continue to link urban and rural nodes, and children have remained less urbanised than adults. Importantly for children, migration rates among prime-age women have increased, alongside falling marriage rates, declining remittances and persistently high unemployment. Households, and women especially, may have to make difficult choices about how to manage the competing demands of child care and income generation.

Elona Toska Aids and Society Researcher, and a Cipher Grant awardee, interviewed at AIDS 2018 in Amsterdam
Thursday, August 2, 2018 - 14:30

This Cipher grant will find out how we can tweak health services to help adolescent mothers living with HIV and their children.

Aids& Society Research Unit Associate, Siyanai Zhou was awarded certificate of Excellence
Friday, July 27, 2018 - 13:30

ASRU Research Associate, Siyanai Zhou, was awarded a certificate of excellence for his presentation during the 13th Population Association of Southern Africa Conference held at Stellenbosch University, 18-20th July 2018. Siyah has just completed his MPhil in Demography at UCT and is currently working with  Dr Toska to analyse quantitative Mzantsi Wakho data on sexual and reproductive and TB

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