THE RISK OF AIDS. Coping strategies among young people in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso

  • Helle Samuelsen


The last two decades have shown that the battle against the AIDS

epidemic is much more difficult to win than first anticipated. This

fact has intensified the public debate on HIV/AIDS, which has

become much more vociferous both at the international and national

levels. It is striking, however, that the intense rhetoric among policy

makers and opinion leaders at both the donor and the recipient side

has not been reflected by nearly the same kind of debate among the

people most concerned, particularly young people in the early stage

of their sexual life. Even though their lives and future are

threatened, HIV/AIDS remains largely unspoken. According to this

study, there seems to be a discrepancy between the outspoken

rhetoric at a global level and the ‘silence’ among young men and


Author Biography

Helle Samuelsen
Helle Samuelsen, PhD, is Associate Professor in medical anthropology at the University of Copenhagen and Director of the Masters Programme in International Health. Her main research interests are local perceptions of disease and illness and health-seeking behaviour. She has conducted extensive research in Burkina Faso and more recently begun to investigate adolescents and reproductive health, including HIV/AIDS, in other parts of Africa, Denmark and South-East Asia.