9 | Teenage Motherhood and HIV | Sasheenie Moodley

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Sasheenie Moodley (@SasheenieM) discusses the complexities of teenage motherhood, HIV, family dynamics, and navigating poverty in the townships of her native South Africa. She explains dynamics of familial expectation and young mothers being "hidden away," how one reveals HIV or pregnancy status, dreams of future success, and her experience doing research as an insider-outsider.

Sasheenie Moodley MPH was born and grew up in South Africa and pursued her PhD at the University of Oxford, where she works with pregnant teenagers and teenage mothers in Botshabelo, South Africa. This research explores what life is like - during and after teenage pregnancy – through the lens of HIV. Sasheenie is currently a medical student at the University of Virginia.

Her recommended resources:

  • Long, C. (2009). Contradicting maternity: HIV-positive motherhood in South Africa. Johannesburg: WITS University Press.

  • Macleod, C. (2003). Teenage pregnancy and the construction of adolescence: Scientific literature in South Africa. Childhood, 10(4), 419-437. bit.ly/30GMlEj

  • Mkhwanazi, N. (2014). Revisiting the dynamics of early childbearing in South African townships. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 16(9), 1084-1096. bit.ly/2GvdCCV

  • Mkhwanazi, N. (2010). Understanding teenage pregnancy in a post-apartheid South African township. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 12(4), 347–358. bit.ly/30MZgoe

  • Ngabaza, S. (2011). Positively pregnant: Teenage women’s experiences of negotiating pregnancy with their families. Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity, 25(3), 42-51. bit.ly/34RLouf

  • Steinberg, J. (2013). Working through a paradox about sexual culture in South Africa: Tough sex in the twenty-first century. Journal of Southern African Studies, 39(3), 497-509. bit.ly/34Ddg4R

  • Toska, E., Cluver, L., Pantelic, M., & Hodes, R. (2017). To know or not to know? HIV-status disclosure and protective sexual practices among adolescent girls and boys in South Africa. Centre for Social Science Research University of Cape Town. bit.ly/36KDPbe

  • Vale, B., Hodes, R., & Cluver, L. (2016). Negotiations of blame and care among HIV-positive mothers and daughters in South Africa’s eastern cape. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, bit.ly/34FsztM

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