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Title: Buddhism, the status of women and the spread of HIV/AIDS in Thailand
Authors: Klunklin A.
Greenwood J.
Issue Date: 2005
Abstract: The common-sense construction of Buddhism is that of a general power for good; the less positive aspects of Buddhism's power, especially when reinforced by folklore and ancient superstition, is infrequently recognised. In this article we make explicit Buddhism's less positive power, particularly as it relates to the status of women and, by implication, its role in the human immunodeficiency (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic in Thailand. The Buddhist, folklore, and superstitious bases of Thai misogyny are explored, together with its expression in the differential gender roles of women and men. In addition, the attitudes of both women and men to commercial sex workers (CSWs) and condom use is discussed. The implications of these attitudinal analyses to the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in Thailand is outlined. We argue that the current spread of HIV/AIDS in Thailand is primarily a function of the inferior status of women, which, in turn, is a function of Buddhism and Thai cultural beliefs. In light of this, some realistic strategies to address the problem also are discussed.
ISSN: 07399332
Appears in Collections:NURSE: Journal Articles

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