This paper puts forward an argument in favour of careful and critical analysis of culture in formulating communication strategies with and for specific groups, based on experience drawn from the Clown Project in Guatemala and other countries in Central America. The Clown Project uses labour-intensive face-to-face street theatre and dialogue, participatory workshops, and symbolic communication such as print-based material to reach those most vulnerable to the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS . The analysis takes into account relations of power within and between vulnerable groups, examining the centre-periphery dynamic between classes, genders, ethnicities, age groups, and other social identities. Both appropriately supported insider perspectives and appropriately processed outsider knowledge are recommended, along with ways of bridging science and the field, theory and practice
"This paper summarises findings from a participatory study which aimed to develop practical guidelines to make HIV programmes in the states of Manipur and Nagaland more disability-friendly...The objectives were to: 1) explore HIV risk and risk perception in relation to people with disability (PWD) among HIV and disability programmers, and PWD themselves; 2) identify HIV-related education and service needs and preferences of PWD; and 3) utilise findings and stakeholder consultation to draft practical guidelines for inclusion of disability into HIV programming in this region of India"
This study assesses the vulnerability, impact and coping mechanisms of disabled people on HIV and AIDS, and suggests strategies for developing an HIV and AIDS programme for disabled people’s organisations. Using participatory methodologies of inquiry, the study found that disabled people perceive themselves to be at higher risk of HIV infection due to their disability, regardless of their awareness levels. Their social exclusion from the mainstream HIV/AIDS services makes the situation worse. The study revealed that the many myths and misconceptions around HIV and disability increase the vulnerability of disabled people to HIV/AIDS, such as the belief that sex with a disabled person cleanses a person of HIV/AIDS. It also revealed that disabled people have limited access to HIV/AIDS information and limited use of HIV/AIDS services mainly because of the nature of their disability, the location of the facilities and the attitudes of service providers. In conclusion, the study revealed that disabled people are at a higher risk of infection by sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS due to their exclusion from mainstream HIV interventions. This situation is further exacerbated by the lack of policy framework on disability and HIV and AIDS
This study assesses the vulnerability, impact and coping mechanisms of parents of disabled children on HIV/AIDS and suggests strategies for developing an HIV and AIDS programme. Using participatory methodologies of inquiry, the study found that the parents of disabled children are at a higher risk of infection to sexually transmitted infections (STI) and/or HIV and that the risk increases as the parents try to cope with having a disabled child. Therefore, a disabled child in a family acts as one of the pre-disposing factors to the parents' infection and when an infection happens in a home, the quality of care for the very disabled child is compromised causing a vicious cycle of disability and HIV/AIDS at the household level.The study recommends that target-specific interventions should be designed and implemented for the parents of disabled children to address issues of HIV/AIDS and disability, empowerment and gender issues as well as sexual reproductive health
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