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15 April 2013

By the start of the 1980s, the African National Congress (ANC) had been banned for 20 years and members of the organisation were  either working ‘underground’ or in exile communities, offices, or missions around the globe. By the mid-1980s AIDS was becoming an increasing

concern for both the ANC and the countries that hosted its major settlements. Drawing on

AIDS education material and other archival sources relating to the ANC Department of Health,

this paper asks questions about sex in exile communities. Focussing initially on AIDS education

material and then on two interconnected topics namely pregnancies and STIs (with a particular

focus on AIDS) it explores these aspects of the sexual landscape of exile communities for

insights into sexual practices and sexual health needs. It also asks if there are any gendered

assumptions, by individual ANC members or organisational structures, evident in the discussions

about, understandings of, or responses to, these topics.