HIV tarada (HIV no way!)
: A socio-cultural analysis of HIV/AIDS awareness and knowledge in the Banda Islands, Indonesia

  • Agnes Westwater

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    This thesis examines the complex web of factors which influence HIV awareness, sexuality and sexual practices in a comparatively small island community in Maluku. Banda is apparently remote and isolated, and regarded itself as immune to HIV (tarada -no way) because of its perceived conservative morality towards sexual matters. Banda's population mirrors that of Indonesia at large, being composed of roughly 90% Muslim, 9% Christian and 1% other world religions. Following a massacre of the original inhabitants by the Dutch in the 17th century and a rebuilding of the population by immigrants from elsewhere, it could therefore be considered a microcosm of the wider Indonesian community.

    The AIDS epidemic in Indonesia appears slow to take off, or has not yet been adequately recognised, except within identified 'risk' groups such as prostitutes or drug users. Most published research has focused on these groups. I argue that there needs to be more intensive study of the wider population and the range of factorswhich influence community and personal attitudes to social and sexual identities with their concomitant behaviours.

    Taking a broad community-based approach, this study looks at the HIV awareness and knowledge of many different groups in Banda. It examines their potential HIV risk behaviours and the range of factors which might predispose towards HIV infection of, and transmission within, the community. These factors include:government regulation of marriage and divorce, the influence of politics, religion, culture, economy, conflict, pornography, tourism, labour migration, local travel and the health sector. The work falls into the field of medical anthropology and takes a very practical, political-economic approach.
    Date of AwardFeb 2003
    Original languageEnglish

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