The competing discourses of HIV/AIDS circulating in sub-Saharan Africa are identified. These are medical, medico-moral, developmental (distinguishing between 'women in development' and gender and development perspectives), legal, ethical, and the rights discourse of groups living with HIV/AIDS and of African pressure groups. The analytical framework is that of discourse analysis as exemplified by Michel Foucault. The medical and medico-moral are identified as dominant. They shape the perceptions of the pandemic, our responses to it, and to those living with HIV/AIDS. However, dissident activist voices are fracturing the dominant frameworks, and are mobilising a struggle for meaning around definitions of gender, rights, and development.