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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - PhD thesis
Title When love becomes dangerous: an in-depth look into heterosexual relationships in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and their link to HIV transmission amongst Vincentian women
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
URL http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/5471/5/MillerJ14PhD.pdf
Abstract
Understanding why persons repeatedly place themselves at risk for Human
Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), amidst the wealth of prevention information available
is of profound importance. Presently, scientific research of this phenomenon has been
dominated by the cognitive models of health behaviour, but these were criticised for
ignoring emotional, social and cultural influences on sexual behaviour. This thesis
explored and investigated some of these non-cognitive factors within the specific
cultural context of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with sole reference to women, to
understand why women put themselves at risk and also help inform the country’s
efforts to tackle the problem.
This research comprised of four studies, each targeting women ages (18-40 yrs)
and sexually involved in relationships. Study one was a qualitative study (N= 10),
which explored women’s perceptions of the socio-cultural influences which contributes
to their decision to engage in risky sex. Study two was a quantitative study in which
(N=75), HIV+ women were surveyed, on whether they contracted HIV from within
their long term relationships. Study three was a qualitative Interpretative
Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) study (N=9); in-depth interviews investigated the
intricacies of long-term relationships that made them more likely to influence unsafe
sexual practices. Study four was a quantitative study (N=60) women; used
questionnaires to investigate the validity that tolerance to infidelity and non use of
condoms in long term relationships, which contributes to HIV transmission amongst
Vincentian women. This research confirmed the existing limitations of the Cognitive
models oh health when applied to sexual behavior and produced evidence that
Vincentian women more at vulnerable to contracting HIV within their long term
relationships.

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