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Confronting the Challenge

Poverty, Gender and HIV in South Africa

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Suzanne Mulligan

This book examines some of the ways in which HIV/AIDS is affecting South African society. Catholic theological responses have focused extensively on the implications of HIV/AIDS for the area of sexual ethics. Although there are important questions to be answered here, many more fundamental issues have been overlooked as a result. This book responds to the need within Catholic theology for a greater examination of the injustices associated with the AIDS pandemic. The author argues that the human rights challenges associated with poverty, gender discrimination, sexual violence and access to essential AIDS-related health care are a crucial feature of the crisis. The author turns to the social teaching of the Catholic Church for a fuller framework of analysis in this regard and provides a critical examination of that teaching’s core concepts and principles. The work of leading international economists Amartya Sen and Muhammad Yunus is explored as a means of relating the principles of Catholic social teaching to the concrete social and economic realities that exacerbate this global pandemic.