“All I Eat Is ARVs”: Surviving the AIDS Economy in Central Mozambique


ACLS Fellowship Program




Many observers describe the scale-up of HIV testing, care, and treatment in Africa during the first decade of the twenty-first century as a remarkable achievement of contemporary humanitarian intervention and the signature triumph of the new global health. This book elaborates the emergence, establishment, and reproduction of an AIDS economy with global, national, and local scales alongside the expansion of antretroviral (ARV) treatment in central Mozambique, a site characterized by high HIV prevalence, a fragmented health system, and grinding poverty. It places AIDS treatment within local moral and political economies of care to argue that while the scale-up of HIV testing, care, and treatment saved lives, it also produced troubling side effects. By providing a medical treatment focused on saving individual lives but indifferent to the material realities of collective survival, the intervention established new hierarchies and forms of exclusion.