Gender Sexuality and HIV in the Caribbean

Authors/editor(s): Dr. Kamala Kempadoo with Andy Taitt

UNIFEM in collaboration with the Barbados National HIV/AIDS Commission, and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) commissioned a study on Gender, Sexuality and HIV in 2006.

The study reviewed the literature and research on gender and sexuality in relation to HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean and made recommendations for strengthening policy and programme approaches, and in particular, those focused on behaviour change and prevention.

Undertaken by Dr. Kamala Kempadoo with Andy Taitt, the study found insufficient policy attention to relations of power and socio-economic contexts within which sexual expressions take place as well as the lack of focus on other types of sexual expressions and behaviours.

These deficits arguably limit the scope and effectiveness of HIV/AIDS interventions. The main recommendations arising from this review are to:

a) link Caribbean sexual expressions to broader socio-economic and systemic factors that also shape the HIV/AIDS epidemic, including gendered asymmetries of power, poverty and global inequalities of wealth, racism and ethnic relations, and lack of adequate social protections and health-care provisions;

b) recognize the role of violence in Caribbean social relations generally and, more specifically, its significance in shaping sexual expressions;

c) advocate a change in legislation and policies that currently contribute to the stigmatization, discrimination against, and vulnerability of sexually marginalized groups;

d) develop a region-wide research project on sexuality, which would provide theories, concepts and methodologies appropriate to Caribbean socio-cultural and economic contexts, and which can be drawn upon to inform policies and programmes regarding HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment.

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Bibliographic information

Subject area(s): Gender equality and women’s empowerment; HIV and AIDS

Resource type: Case studies

Publication year: 2006

Publishing entities: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)