Dilemmas of Patient Expertise

People Living with HIV as Peer Educators in a Ghanaian Hospital

Jonathan Mensah Dapaah and Eileen Moyer


This article examines the work lives of HIV positive peer educators at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana, who have been trained to complement the work of health workers. Drawing on fifteen months of ethnographic research in the voluntary counselling and testing centre and the antiretroviral treatment clinic, we found that, despite the wide range of services offered by peer educators, there was a general lack of recognition for their work by hospital authorities or health workers. By examining the frictions between differently positioned healthcare providers we demonstrate what is at stake for peer educators and attempt to understand why they continue to work in the clinic despite lack of collegial recognition or remuneration.

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