How do social representations of gender influence AIDS prevention ?
The example of multipartner heterosexual relationships in the French Caribbean
The French Caribbean has been a target of AIDS prevention campaigns since the beginning of the epidemic. These islands are still characterized by multipartner heterosexual relationships, in a matrifocal context, that are especially permeable to the epidemic. One particular vernacular category, “coureurs” [womanizers], seems to focus all the fears and concerns. But that category also proves quite ambivalent, and likely to induce strategies of mutual accusation and construction of an imaginary individual invulnerability. This article reflects on how representations of gender relationships and AIDS influence people’s social categorizations and actors’ prevention strategies.