AIDS - A Social Disease: A Minor Field Study of Women with HIV/AIDS in Nicaragua

University essay from Lunds universitet/Socialantropologi

Abstract: HIV/AIDS is not to be looked upon as an entirely medical problem as will be explained throughout this thesis. In Nicaragua it is indeed a social disease due to social and cultural factors leading to the misery of HIV-positive women. Nicaragua is an interesting case when studying HIV/AIDS because it is the Central American country with the lowest number of official reported cases. However there are thought to be several explanations for this. Experts believe that the official low number of HIV/AIDS might be caused by underestimated, under-diagnosed or even falsified reporting due to the heavy social stigma it possesses. Among other explanations are that the Catholic Church does not allow sexual education at school and therefore unawareness about the disease is high due to failures to recognize the signs of the disease. As people living with HIV/AIDS are ignored in Nicaragua by both the local and international community the only support group for women with HIV/AIDS has to use creative methods to attract donor money. The women living with HIV/AIDS have to learn how to be victims of a social disease and how to represent themselves as such. The association studied strives to empower the women through different group activities but is doubtful whether the women are empowered or disempowered.

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