Quest for conception in times of HIV/AIDS – (In)fertility care in Botswana


Africa, Assisted Reproductive Technologies, ART, HIV/AIDS, health care, health politics, infertility.

A. Bochow

Dr. phil. Astrid Bochow, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Advokatenweg 36, D-06114 Halle/Saale, Germany.


The article at hand attempts to assess medical care available for infertility patients in Botswana, a country with an exceptionally high HIV/AIDS infection rate. Therefore this contribution lays emphasis on understanding the relation between HIV and infertility and how Botswana’s biomedical services are catered towards these special needs. The research shows that patients’ acceptance of biomedical technologies not only depend on their financial situation but also on their age and education. It further emphasizes that suffering from childlessness is not only a social problem but is also a personal suffering as biological children represent the hope for personal and social continuity. Nevertheless, infertility care is not a priority in Botswana’s health politics.