The Prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Portuguese Speaking Community in Toronto.

Corina Tudor


This paper analyzes the roles that cultural idiosyncrasies play, or should play, in the development of HIV/AIDS education programs. Through my connection with the Aids Committee of Toronto (ACT), I focus on the problems faced when implementing HIV/AIDS education programs in the Toronto-based Portuguese-speaking community. Within this group a homosexual identity, based on same-sex desire, is not recognized and HIV/AIDS is seen as a "gay disease"; therefore, the prevalence of the disease within the community is not recognized and often masked. This poses problems for both health workers and AIDS Service Organizations in developing HIV/AIDS education programs, since these programs cater to groups that recognize an identity based on same-sex intercourse. I suggest that HIV/AIDS education programs should be changed in order to better suit the needs of the target group. This can be achieved through implementing holistic research on the cultural beliefs and practices in program development strategies.

Full Text: