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Social-cultural characteristics of HIV/AIDS among indigenous Communities in Colombia
C.F. Betancourt Rodríguez
Issues and description: Ethnographic description of social-cultural aspects related to sexual and reproductive health among indigenous communities in Colombia, with an emphasis in the HIV and AIDS scope. A lack of knowledge prevails in the context of national public policies dealing with the reality that the indigenous face when confronting HIV. This happens due to
1) the very recent inclusion of the ethnic factor in the system that reports and epidemic watch:
2) no other in-depth studies to date that deal with the HIV reality the indigenous must face.
Indigenous communities in Colombia suffer from a lack of sexual and reproductive health, which leads to diseases related to poverty, forced displacement, and the armed conflict. Fundamental aspects like the use of condoms and cultural situations related to its rejection were studied and explored in these communities. Cultural aspects as myths, beliefs, traditions, and ancestral politics were identified, as well as homophobia and gender inequality, factors that increase vulnerability among MSM and indigenous women when confronting HIV/ AIDS and other STDs.
Lessons learned: Ethnographic studies are required, to explore the particular needs of Colombian indigenous communities in relation to their situation and experiences with HIV/Aids. The current health system and the absence of public policies that deal with HIV/AIDS among indigenous and ethnic communities in Colombia is not only contributing to the increase in the epidemic but also widening breaches in the possibilities of getting closer to communities in order to provide them with prevention.
Next steps: Articulation with indigenous authorities to position the topic and design preventive measures; proposal of a joint agenda to work with national organisms and agencies of cooperation to develop a public policy that covers HIV/AIDS prevention with an ethnic scope.
AIDS 2008 – XVII International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. CDE0305
” C.F. Betancourt Rodríguez Social-cultural characteristics of HIV/AIDS among indigenous Communities in Colombia. : AIDS 2008 – XVII International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. CDE0305″