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Building Responsive Policy: Gender, Sexual Culture and HIV & AIDS in the Caribbean

Rhoda Reddock, Sandra Reid, Gabrielle Hosein, Tia Cooper

This project aims to produce knowledge of the sexual cultures of the Caribbean region and the implications for HIV/AIDS risk. Project research is taking place in three countries throughout the region – Barbados, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. In each research site two common baseline studies are being carried out:

  • a secondary analysis of the political economy of sexuality and HIV/AIDS in each of the selected countries; and
  • an examination of selected media and informational / advocacy campaigns on HIV/AIDS to document and assess the underlying messages that challenge or reinforce the gender-based causes of the epidemic.

In addition, each country research team has embarked on at least one case study designed to explore in greater detail one aspect of the sexual cultures of the specific country using primary qualitative research methods. Using ethnographic observations and semi-structured in-depth interviews, the Trinidad and Tobago team at the IGDS, UWI, St. Augustine specifically aims to document and analyse the practices, attitudes, feelings, meanings, and gendered negotiations of power related to sexuality among young adults, ages 18 to 30, in Trinidad and Tobago taking into consideration the socio-economic context, and class, religious and ethnic diversity that exist.