Risk and resiliency: the syndemic nature of HIV/AIDS in the indigenous highland communities of Ecuador

L. U. Đào, E. Terán, S. Bejarano, I. Hernandez, M. Reina Ortiz, V. Chee, M. Flores, R. Izurieta, J. Baldwin, D. Martinez Tyson

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

5 Citas (Scopus)

Resumen

Objectives: This community-based study explores the syndemic nature of HIV/AIDS risk and resilience among Indigenous Kichwa communities in the province of Imbabura, Ecuador. This study elucidates individual and community-level factors that serve to exacerbate HIV/AIDS risk, as they relate to underlying macrolevel, structural forces. Critically, this study also elicited opportunities for community-based opportunities for resiliency from HIV/AIDS. Study design: Exploratory qualitative study. Methods: Guided by syndemic theory, a qualitative study was conducted to explore HIV risk and resilience among Indigenous Kichwa communities in the Northern Andean highlands of Ecuador. Eight focus groups (n = 59) with men and women from two communities were conducted. The data were analyzed using applied thematic analysis techniques. Results: Identified risk factors for HIV/AIDS centered around the following themes: (1) parents leaving the community for work, (2) alcohol and drug consumption, (3) unprotected sex, and (4) barriers to health care. Identified HIV/AIDS resiliency factors included the preservation of Indigenous culture and family-focused interventions. Conclusions: The identified risk factors for HIV/AIDS are interrelated within a complex syndemic relationship. The mutually reinforcing individual-level risk factors of substance abuse and risky sexual behavior coalesce with violence to exacerbate the risk for HIV/AIDS acquisition among Ecuadorian Highland Indigenous communities. Moreover, HIV/AIDS risk prevails in the macrolevel context of disproportionate unemployment among Indigenous peoples and a systematically fragmented healthcare system. It is critical that public health professionals work to revolutionize the systematic discrimination that underpins indigenous health disparities at-large.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)36-42
Número de páginas7
PublicaciónPublic Health
Volumen176
DOI
EstadoPublicada - nov. 2019

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