Karen Lillie, 2009, Anthropology

I conducted a study in Puebla Mexico on how the therapeutic itineraries of HIV/AIDS patients affect their lives. I found that even in the presence of a national plan to distribute medications, stigma remains a huge impediment to treatment and prevention efforts. Doctors assigned by the government to AIDS clinics saw the responsibility as an unwanted burden. Though patients communicated complex fabrics of self-perception, their medical choices were frequently informed by a desire to hide their disease. My research allows for a consideration of how medical and local cultures affect patient and disease conceptions, access to information and the success of treatments.