Medical anthropology is playing an increasingly important role in public health. This book provides an introduction to the basic concepts, approaches and theories used, and shows how these contribute to understanding complex health related behaviour. Public health policies and interventions are more likely to be effective if the beliefs and behaviour of people are understood and taken into account. The book examines: concepts of culture; medical systems; patient's experience of illness and treatment; the use of medicines and healing practices; public health and medical research; and examples of particular health problems, such as HIV and malaria, are used to show how an anthropological approach can contribute to both a better understanding of health and illness and to more culturally compatible public health measures. Series Editors: Rosalind Plowman and Nicki Thorogood.