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Jamaican religious culture and its role in acceleration of HIV/AIDS and stigmatization of PLWAs.

Gunter M, Hue L; International Conference on AIDS.

Int Conf AIDS. 2000 Jul 9-14; 13: abstract no. WeOrD624.

M. Gunter, Jamaica Red Cross, 76 Arnold Road, Kingston 5, Jamaica, Tel.: +1 876 984 78 60, Fax: +1 876 984 82 72

Issue: Despite several years of exposure to HIV/AIDS information including the modes of transmission, churches are still denying burial rights to persons suspected to have died of AIDS. This inappropriate behaviour is as a direct result of how the church has always viewed with discomfort the genitals, sex, sex education and sexual orientation, thus putting a taboo on death caused by a sexually transmitted disease. The project sought to elicit religious perception on sex and sex education and its impact on the increase in HIV/AIDS through questionnaires, interviews and literature review.It was determined that (a) some churches forbid the use of contraceptives including condoms (b) Churches publicly denounce the distribution of condoms in prisons because of the impluication of homosexual relations. (c) Comprehensive communication on sex and sexuality is avoided in the church. (d) Churches neglect and scorn PLWAs their families and associates. Description: The project involved a sample training exercise and a control group. 330 youth leaders from across the island were sensitized using interactive strategies including games. Conclusion: The sensitized group has decided to establish a youth ministry with leaders who will be responsible for setting up and leading the awareness process as well as interactions with PLWAs.So far there has been a noted change in attitude of some church leaders and members.Measures should be taken to have a sustained training programme for churches.The church as an educator will then be able to facilitate the informing of a nation on safer sex practices and the destigmatization of PLWAs.

Publication Types:
  • Meeting Abstracts
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Condoms
  • Culture
  • HIV Infections
  • HIV Seropositivity
  • Humans
  • Jamaica
  • Research
  • Sex Education
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexuality
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • education
  • organization & administration
Other ID:
  • GWAIDS0003293
UI: 102240789

From Meeting Abstracts

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