AIDS education targeted at minority women, if it is not based on the knowledge of cultural values and gender politics, will further increase high-risk behavior if individual women feel that their economic and social survival mechanisms are threatened by acknowledging risk-related behavior that they feel powerless to alter. It is not sufficient to study cultural and gender roles and beliefs as they affect women. A methodological approach is needed to enable us to look at the socialization of both females and males and its collective impact on sexual behavior.

The effect of acculturation and racism on family structure and gender-role expectations in different ethnic groups has to be examined further. Only when the knowledge generated by such research is available will public health educators be able to fully understand how different individuals make decisions about behavior based on communal norms that determine their response to AIDS and AIDS education.


NOTES
1.
Anthropologists can contribute to AIDS prevention program development by helping to interpret how social interaction and behavior are influenced by poverty and racism, and how responses to both vary across cultures. They can examine shared values, rules and behavioral expectations, and help program developers to understand the cultural values and traditions which legitimize behavior choices related to AIDS.
2.
Cross-cultural research on cultural beliefs and attitudes toward illness, disease, and health care as they relate to AIDS service provision is also important but cannot be addressed in the present inquiry.
3.
Eighty-five percent of female AIDS deaths in New York City are Latina and black, the majority of Latinas being Puerto Rican and the majority of blacks are U.S.-born. Puerto Ricans born in Puerto Rico make up 52 percent of all Latino AIDS deaths in New York City. Health Department data are not broken down so that U.S.-born Puerto Rican AIDS deaths can be separated from those of other Latinos. Estimates are that of the remaining 48 percent, approximately 24 percent are U.S.-born Puerto Ricans. This means that Puerto Ricans in New York City make up 76 percent of all Latino AIDS deaths.
4.
Since 1986, the author has been engaged in research on the barriers to AIDS- related behavior change among high-risk women in several programs; one run in conjunction with the New York City Department of Health at the Stuyvesant Polyclinic in Lower Manhattan, one for women heroin addicts in methadone maintenance at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, and an outreach project, sponsored by Narcotic and Drug Research, Inc., which worked with intravenous drug using women and prostitutes on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The programs promote AIDS risk reduction in high-risk women through participation in peer-based groups focused on social skill building and street outreach.
5.
This viewpoint led to the burden of addressing AIDS prevention falling on those perceived to be most at risk, originally gay men. More recently, it is obscuring the need to address the social factors that promote drug use in the inner city neighborhoods.
6.
As is also true today, throughout history, female prostitutes have often been one

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Culture and AIDS
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Chapter One - Introduction: Culture and Aids 1
  • Chapter Two - Aids in Cultural, Historic, and Epidemiologic Context 9
  • Notes 23
  • References 24
  • Chapter Three - the Sick Role, Stigma, and Pollution: the Case of Aids 29
  • Notes 42
  • References 43
  • Chapter Four - Assessing Viral, Parasitic, and Sociocultural Cofactors Affecting Hiv-1 Transmission in Rwanda 45
  • Note 51
  • References 51
  • Chapter Five - Aids and the Pathogenesis of Metaphor 55
  • Note 64
  • References 65
  • Chapter Six - Aids and Accusation: Haiti, Haitians, and the Geography of Blame 67
  • Notes 88
  • References 89
  • Chapter Seven - Prostitute Women and the Ideology of Work in London 93
  • Notes 108
  • References 109
  • Chapter Eight Minority Women and Aids: Culture, Race, and Gender 111
  • Notes 128
  • References 131
  • Chapter Nine Language and Aids 137
  • Notes 157
  • References 158
  • Chapter Ten Aids and Obituaries: the Perpetuation of Stigma in the Press 159
  • References 168
  • Chapter Eleven Sex, Politics, and Guilt: A Study of Homophobia and the Aids Phenomenon 169
  • Note 181
  • References 181
  • Chapter Twelve Increasing the Cost of Living: Class and Exploitation in the Delivery of Social Services to Persons with Aids 183
  • Notes 198
  • References 201
  • Chapter Thirteen Postscript: Anthropology and Aids 205
  • Note 208
  • References 208
  • Index 209
  • ABOUT THE EDITOR AND CONTRIBUTORS 215
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