PhD Defence: Confidentiality and Information Control in Ugandan ART Programs – University of Copenhagen

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Global Health > Open events > Archive 2013 > PhD Defence: Confident...

PhD Defence: Confidentiality and Information Control in Ugandan ART Programs


Jenipher Twebaze
Department of Anthropology, UCPH

Thesis title:

Medicines for Life - Confidentiality and Information Control in the Lives of Clients and Providers in Ugandan ART Programs.

Assessment Committee:

  • Associate Professor, Tine Gammeltoft, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (chairman)
  • Professor Anita Hardon, University of Amsterdam, Netherland
  • Professor Edward Kirumira, Makerere University, Uganda


The thesis examines the ambiguities surrounding confidentiality in Ugandan antiretroviral treatment (ART) programs and is based on extensive ethnographic research conducted in a variety of clinical settings, covering both urban and rural areas and NGO and public health care facilities. Since the early days of the AIDS epidemic, treatment programmes have been promising confidentiality for people who test for HIV while at the same time encouraging people to be open about their HIV status. The thesis explores this dilemma and the main argument is that while confidentiality is still defined as an ideal ethical standard in Ugandan HIV/AIDS treatment program, it is hardly ever adhered to in practice. Outside of treatment centres, in contrast people manage to control information about their HIV status more successfully. More generally speaking the thesis looks at client's and provider's attempts to control information in different settings and social situations, inside and outside of the clinic.

The Department of Anthropology will host a reception after the defence in room 16.2.55 – CSS, Department of Anthropology, Øster Farimagsgade 5.

Prior to the defence, a paper copy of the dissertation is available for reading at the Department of Anthropology, room 16.1.44.