HIV/AIDS in fishing communities: Challenges to delivering antiretroviral therapy to vulnerable groups

Janet A. Seeley, Edward H. Allison

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95 Citations (Scopus)


Fishing communities have been identified as among the highest-risk groups for HIV infection in countries with high overall rates of HIV/AIDS prevalence. Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS stems from, the time fishers and fish traders spend away from home, their access to cash income, their demographic profile, the ready availability of commercial sex in fishing ports and the sub-cultures of risk taking and hyper-masculinity in fishermen. The subordinate economic and social position of women in many fishing communities makes them even more vulnerable to infection. In this paper we review the available literature to assess the social, economic and cultural factors that shape many fisherfolks’ life-styles and that make them both vulnerable to infection and difficult to reach with anti-retroviral therapy and continued prevention efforts. We conclude from the available evidence that fisherfolk will be among those untouched by planned initiatives to increase access to anti-retroviral therapies in the coming years; a conclusion that might apply to other groups with similar socio-economic and sub-cultural attributes, such as other seafarers, and migrant-workers including small-scale miners, and construction workers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-697
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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