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Melvin Stephens, Estimating Program Benefits

HIV/AIDS and Tourism in the Caribbean: An Ecological Systems Perspective

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Padilla, Mark, Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, Alida Bouris, and Armando Matiz Reyes. 2010. "HIV/AIDS and Tourism in the Caribbean: An Ecological Systems Perspective." American Journal of Public Health, 100(1): 70-77.

The Caribbean has the highest HIV rates outside of sub-Saharan Africa. In recent decades, tourism has become the most important Caribbean industry. Studies suggest that tourism areas are epicenters of demographic and social changes linked to HIV risk, such as transactional sex, elevated alcohol and substance use, and internal migration. Despite this, no formative HIV-prevention studies have examined tourism areas as ecologies that heighten HIV vulnerability. HIV/AIDS research needs to place emphasis on the ecological context of sexual vulnerability in tourism areas and develop multilevel interventions that are sensitive to this context. From our review and integration of a broad literature across the social and health sciences, we argue for an ecological approach to sexual health in Caribbean tourism areas, point to gaps in knowledge, and provide direction for future research.

DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2009.161968 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC2791250. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: Dominican Republic.

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