Exploring ‘therapeutic citizenship’ as a governmentality of health issue in adhering to antiretroviral treatment (ART) for primary and secondary school teachers in Zambia.

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Mulubale, Sanny
Ngambi, Stabile
Kalimaposo, Kalisto
Mufalo, Setwin
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The psychosocial concerns of HIV medicalization and bracketing of wellbeing in medical sense should not just be ‘normalised’ by clinical approaches. HIV medicalisation has become the basis of normalisation among citizens without being questioned. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to examine the extent to which HIV governmentality as mediated through a ‘therapeutic citizenship’ status, among school teachers, especially those on antiretroviral treatment (ART), have an effect on their everyday and development in Zambia. Semi-structured interviews with 41 (20 females and 21 males) purposively sampled HIV positive teachers in Zambia aged between 25 – 55 were conducted in western and southern provinces. Transcripts were processed using NVivo Pro 12®, following an inductive thematic analytic methodology. Results indicate that though a treatable illness, HIV has both latent and visible varying effects based on locality, language, gender, age, career, health care provisions, policy and social strata. Findings show that HIV has strong effect on individual identity and collective affect through past experiences, present events and medico-social uncertainties; stigma is still high and a big problem hindering disclosure; treatment access and adaptation are hard for some people; anxieties and mental health issues/stigma are high but unattended as they are outside set diagnostic medical categories; knowledge and information is averagely low. The govermentalisation of health through ART seem ‘de-normalising’ for 60% of participants who think ART is a form of ‘pharmaceutical colonialism’ that is stagnating Zambia’s national development. In the conclusion and final proposition, this paper shows that HIV can seem like a disappearing disease yet the challenges for ART are more medico-social and psychological than physiological. Since antiretroviral drugs increase life longevity, research focus and policy interventions should now shift from quantity (span) to quality of life on ART.
ART , HIV , Governmentality , Therapeutic Citizenship , Teachers , Zambia
Mulubale, S., Ngambi, S. N., Kalimaposo, K., & Setwin, M. M. (2022) Exploring ‘Therapeutic Citizenship’ as a Governmentality of Health Issue in adhering to Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) for Primary and Secondary School Teachers in Zambia. IJHSSE, Vol 9, 8 pp 64 - 75.