Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Barry D. Adam

Keywords

Social sciences, Health and environmental sciences, Employment, Health care, HIV/AIDS, Immigrants, Latinos, Refugees, Access to care

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The present study documents and analyzes the everyday experiences of immigrant and refugee Latinos and Latinas living with HIV in Canada, particularly in Toronto. The main objective is to understand the issues that the Latino HIV positive community encounters during the migration process, the barriers accessing health care and employment in Canada, and strategies to counterbalance the negative effects of such barriers. Participants' relationships with relatives, friends and partners are also analyzed as a means to understand better processes of discrimination and marginalization in the context of living with HIV. The study is carried out using a qualitative methodology, which allows deeper comprehension of social contexts and individuals' perceptions and meanings. Thirty face to face interviews were conducted with HIV positive men and women originally from Latin America, representing a wide range of diversity in national origin, age, gender, and sexual orientation. The study contributes to the research done on the areas of migration, the experience of living with HIV/AIDS and links of migration and sexuality. It also attempts to be useful in the construction of a culture of coping strategies, and practical knowledge for managing the disease, which can be of direct interest for seropositive people themselves. Studies that explore the experiences of Latinos and Latinas living with HIV are particularly relevant at a time when in Canada the HIV/AIDS epidemic is growing fast in this community.

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