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The Culture of AIDS in AfricaHope and Healing Through Music and the Arts$
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Gregory Barz and Judah Cohen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744473

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199744473.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 October 2021

“We Are the Loudmouthed HIV-Positive People”

“We Are the Loudmouthed HIV-Positive People”

Siyayinqoba/Beat It!” On South African Television

(p.158) 14 “We Are the Loudmouthed HIV-Positive People”
The Culture of AIDS in Africa

Rebecca Hodes

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the long-running television show Beat It!—a creation of South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign, and reported to be the first television show produced by the HIV-positive community for wide dissemination. It describes the discursive strategies used by Beat It!, with particular emphasis on the show’s role in the 2000–2002 activist campaign for prevention of mother-to-child transmission treatment programs. It demonstrates how Beat It! harnessed television’s ability to demystify complex issues relating to HIV and how, under the rubric of “positive living,” it presented the many ways in which HIV-positive people could maintain a healthy lifestyle. Beat It! captures and conveys the most significant developments relating to HIV in South Africa between 1999 and 2006—during which the show’s first six series were broadcast. The program’s mirroring of the political campaigns of HIV activist organizations provides an important record of the contemporary history of HIV politics during this time.

Keywords:   television show, Beat It!, South Africa, Treatment Action Campaign, mother-to-child transmission treatment programs, HIV, positive living, healthy lifestyle, political campaigns, politics

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