4132.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - Board 8

Abstract #11522

Mobilizing communities to respond to AIDS in Northern Thailand

Rachel M. Safman, PhD, Dept.of Rural Sociology, Cornell University, 119 Warren Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, 607-27-2879, rs21@cornell.edu

In resource-poor settings such as characterize much of the developing world, communities play a critical role in responding to the needs of both AIDS-infected and AIDS-affected individuals, enabling the formal health care infrastructure to extend their resources far beyond normal carrying capacity. Nevertheless, it has been observed in Thailand and elsewhere in the world, that the local response to AIDS varies tremendously across communities with some groups assuming a very ambitious, proactive position, while others remain quite passive. This study examines both endogenous factors --such as community structure,leadership, and cohesion -- and exogenous factors (government policy and NGO interventions) which condition the extent to which communities are able to mobilize an effective response. In particular, the mixed success of government policy in encouraging passive communities to assume a more active stance is examined with respect to the experiences of select communities in a heavily impacted area of Northern Thailand. It is shown that in historically disenfranchised, communities, technical and organizational assistance may be as critical as material resource transfers in enabling an effective local response, but that even highly disadvantaged communities have a high potential to respond to local needs given adequate support.

Learning Objectives: 1) Attendees will be able to identify characteristics of communities which predispose them to respond proactively to health crises. 2) Attendees will understand the role of government policy in shaping community responses to health events. 3) Attendees will understand the contribution of community-based groups to meeting the needs of the AIDS-affected, particularly in a resource-poor environment

Keywords: Community-Based Care, HIV Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA