Description

Risk, Vulnerability and Gender in the Caribbean Context of HIV

By Christine Barrow

The articles in this collection were initially prepared as panel presentations at the 2009 Research Symposium organised by the Barbados National HIV/AIDS Commission (Barbados National HIV/AIDS Commission 2009). They address diverse issues and concerns around HIV and AIDS, providing new insights while reconfirming what we already know, and combining individual behaviour and risk perspectives with an emphasis on the structural drivers of HIV.

Key words: HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), gender relations, sexual-economic exchange relations, power, vulnerability

Pages: 1-5

Narratives of innocence: framing AIDS in the Barbadian press, 1995-2004

by Jakub Kakietek

This article examines how the press in Barbados and Barbadian public discourse defined the social groups most susceptible to HIV and AIDS and how the nature of their susceptibility was understood and described. Content analysis of 243 articles from Barbadian newspapers from 1995 through 2004 shows that the press discourse concentrated on nonproblematic social groups—women and children—as the principal victims of AIDS and emphasised structural societal vulnerability over individual risk.  Those “narratives of innocence" were critical in shaping the public discourse and public health policy in Barbados.

Key words: heterosexualisation, narratives, same-sex sexual behaviours, stigma

Pages: 6-27.

Further Reduction in Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV in Barbados following intervention with HAART

By M. Anne St. John, Kemi Mascoll, Ira Waterman, Shawna Crichlow

From January 2002 to December 2010, a historical prospective study was carried out involving consenting HIV infected pregnant women who were treated with anti-retroviral drugs for PMTCT prophylaxis.  Infants received a week of oral zidovudine or single dose nevirapine plus one month of zidovudine.  Mothers and infants were followed-up after discharge and tested for HIV.  The transmission rate in treated pregnant women was calculated, with statistical analysis using the Fisher Exact Test.  There were 22,859 live births, 224 delivered by infected pregnant women and 3 (1.3 %) infected infants.  The intervention using ART protocols in HIV infected pregnant women has resulted in the most significant reduction in transmission rate to date.

Key words: Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV, PMTCT HIV HAART Barbados, PMTCT prophylaxis Barbados.

Pages: 28-38.

Intersections between HIV/AIDS and Violence Against Women: Research to Develop Pilot Projects in Barbados and Dominica

By Caroline F. Allen

More than half of people living with HIV in the Caribbean are women. Is the high prevalence of violence against women (VAW) an explanatory factor?  This article explores Caribbean quantitative and qualitative evidence of associations, and the extent to which services to address HIV and VAW are integrated in Barbados and Dominica. Qualitative studies present the strongest evidence of links, while quantitative studies are methodologically limited. Service providers generally focused either on VAW or HIV. There is a need to address HIV at the level of gender norms and to develop mechanisms to integrate VAW and HIV services.

Key words: HIV, violence against women, gender.

Pages: 39-59

Drug Use and Risky Sexual Behaviour in Tertiary Institutions in Barbados: Personal and ‘Liberal Campus’ Effects

By Jonathan Lashley and Jonathan Yearwood

Theoretical and empirical linkages have been made between drug use and risky sexual behaviour, and the relationship these have to the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), especially HIV. In seeking to investigate the prevalence of these behaviours and their relationships, the study draws on a survey of 942 tertiary level students in Barbados conducted in 2007. While the study details drug use prevalence and sexual behaviour, and the relationship between the two, the issues of exposure to ‘campus life’ and personal characteristics are also investigated, revealing that type of campus and sex both had an effect on risk levels, with females indirectly at risk from drug use and consequent risky sexual behaviour.

Key words: drug use, sexual behaviour, sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Pages: 60-90

Book Review

Who Cares? The Economics of Dignity

by Marilyn Waring, Robert Carr, Anit Mukherjee and Meena Shivdas

This ground-breaking study presents insights into the hitherto hidden world of unpaid care givers of persons living with HIV.

Pages: 91-94

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