This chapter introduces the three case study areas of Ankole, Buganda, and Buhaya, located today in Uganda and Tanzania, and explains the reasoning behind their selection. Most famously, it was within these neighbouring societies that HIV became a rural as well as an urban phenomenon, and also where the mechanisms of one of the world's most successful AIDS control programmes were developed. These societies were also remarkable for their unusual experience of demographic change during the twentieth century. The chapter examines the major theories which have attempted to explain changes in sexual behaviour and attitudes, fertility, and mortality in Africa, and considers the contributions made by this study to these debates. It also discusses the sources and methodology utilised in this book, focusing particularly on the use of oral evidence, family reconstitution, and hospital maternity records.
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