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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4205.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 3:20 PM

Abstract #106911

Seafaring, sex trades and shame in Micronesia: An emerging HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Marshall Islands

Kamma J. Blair, BEd, BHAdmin, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Edward Ford Building, A27, University of Sydney, NSW, Sydney, 2006, Australia, 61 2 9516 1436, kammab@telusplanet.net

As we move into the third decade of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, an assessment of the opportunities and challenges present in an emerging HIV/AIDS epidemic will be discussed using the Pacific Island nation of the Marshall Islands as a frame of reference. This presentation will endeavor to create a snapshot of the current HIV/AIDS situation in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). An assessment of the Marshallese response to HIV infection in the freely associated state of the Republic of the Marshall Islands will be discussed. Complex relationships between geographic isolation, poverty, equity, gender and culture combine to create a precarious situation for the spread of HIV infection in the RMI. Attempts will be made to discuss the social and economic factors influencing the spread of HIV in the RMI including sexual behaviors, cultural beliefs, education, unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse, poverty and migration patterns, all which ultimately influence family structures and residency patterns. The unique relationship between the RMI and the United States government and American culture will also be discussed in relation to HIV/AIDS.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commertial supporters WITH THE EXCEPTION OF Pacific Regional HIV/AIDS Project through AusAID supported housing costs and transportation costs to the Marshall Islands from the Fiji Islands..

Advancing the Health of Pacific Islanders: An Underrecognized Community in the U.S.

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA