Learning stories through conversations: gaining insight into women's knowledge of and attitudes towards sexual health and the implications for the spread of HIV/AIDS in Trinidad
Women in the African Diaspora generally, and women in Trinidad specifically are contracting HIV/AIDS at a disproportionate rate to men and communities of any other racial and ethnic category. Using feminist ethnographic methodology, this research considers the intersections of gender inequalities, self realized perceptions of sexuality and knowledge of `safer sex' practices among Trinidadian (Trini) women in an effort to deconstruct how these myriad of factors contribute to the disproportionate spread of HIV/AIDS among Trini women. Through conversations with Trini women seeking services at the Family Planning Clinic of Trinidad and Tobago (FPATT) in Port of Spain, the objective is to critically consider how these women understand their sexuality and the factors that contribute to this understanding. Through an analysis of the interview data collected I demonstrate the existence of a large gap between the rhetoric used to inform public health policies utilized by official institutional bodies like the World Health Organization and Ministries of Health which are juxtaposed with the practices and perceptions of Trini women. I argue that the disconnect between what is being championed on the official level can more holistically be addressed if there is an increased consideration of the lived experiences and voices of the women they seek to serve.