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Originally published in Anthropology in Action: Journal for Applied Anthropology in Policy and Practice, Vol. 14, No. 3: 59-68.


During the past few years, the AIDS campaign in Haiti has been targeting Vodou officiants and organizations. These awareness and training programmes in- form officiants about the transmission and prevention of AIDS, tests for HIV and anti- retroviral drugs, or even try to encourage them to become involved in a medical referral system. These culturalist interventions are grounded in an essentialist concept of culture that can have harmful effects on the targeted groups. The concept of culture underlying such interventions is deconstructed along with the categories of tradi- tional medicine and the ‘tradipractitioner’. An approach to public health is advocated that would contextualize medical pluralism in Haiti.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.