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When People Come FirstCritical Studies in Global Health$
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João Biehl and Adriana Petryna

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157382

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157382.001.0001

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Therapeutic Clientship

Therapeutic Clientship

Belonging in Uganda’s Projectified Landscape of AIDS Care

Chapter:
(p.140) 5 Therapeutic Clientship
Source:
When People Come First
Author(s):

Susan Reynolds Whyte

Michael A. Whyte

Lotte Meinert

Jenipher Twebaze

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691157382.003.0008

This chapter focuses on the micropolitics of HIV/AIDS care in Uganda—the ways in which social networks are produced, expanded, and cultivated in efforts to access health programs and the associated benefits they confer—and how the roles of the state and ideas of political belonging are being transformed by global health initiatives. It describes those who benefit from these health initiatives as “clients,” a felicitous term that can be understood in two contrasting and interestingly supplemental senses. One, which harks back to Uganda's political past, points to the ways in which these persons, who enjoy little power or resources other than those afforded through social networking, must seek out patrons better positioned within the world of health care in order to gain access for themselves. The other meaning of “client” echoes the voices of neoliberalism, which guide much of global health investment, and refers to persons as clients or consumers of a product (in this case heath care), thereby establishing a contractual obligation between them and the providers of the product.

Keywords:   micropolitics, HIV, AIDS, Uganda, global health, social networks, neoliberalism

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