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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

Miller, Jozelle Marcene (2014)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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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 on health when applied to sexual behavior and produced evidence that Vincentian women more at vulnerable to contracting HIV within their long term relationships.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Riley, Gerry A
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Psychology
Subjects:BF Psychology
HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:5471
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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