Colleen Walsh Lang, a graduate student in sociocultural anthropology, explores the role of children in Uganda as social actors as they live with a highly stigmatized life-long illness (HIV/AIDS) and as they negotiate the process of reintegration in their local communities after prolonged institutional treatment.
She examine how the process of institutionalization shapes their understanding of HIV/AIDS and investigate the ways in which children themselves define their illness, how this affects their social relationships and dreams for the future, and how they negotiate the social, economic and political situations and structures that shape their daily lives. Overall, the lived experience of children with HIV is underexplored in social science literature.
Colleen was recently selected as an inaugural recipient of the 2016 HIVMA Medical Student Award. This new program was designed to encourage careers in HIV research and while many recipients are members of the medical field, Colleen's selection is based upon her anthropological field research. The award provides up to three years of funding and mentor pairs to support a longitudinal HIV-related research project.
For more information on this award, visit the HIVMA website.