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Rethinking gender, heterosexual men, and women's vulnerability to HIV/AIDS

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  • Higgins, J.A.
  • Hoffman, S.
  • Dworkin, S.L.

Abstract

Most HIV prevention literature portrays women as especially vulnerable to HIV infection because of biological susceptibility and men's sexual power and privilege. Conversely, heterosexual men are perceived as active transmitters of HIV but not active agents in prevention. Although the women's vulnerability paradigm was a radical revision of earlier views of women in the epidemic, mounting challenges undermine its current usefulness. We review the etiology and successes of the paradigm as well as its accruing limitations. We also call for an expanded model that acknowledges biology, gender inequality, and gendered power relations but also directly examines social structure, gender, and HIV risk for heterosexual women and men.

Suggested Citation

  • Higgins, J.A. & Hoffman, S. & Dworkin, S.L., 2010. "Rethinking gender, heterosexual men, and women's vulnerability to HIV/AIDS," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 100(3), pages 435-445.
  • Handle: RePEc:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2009.159723_1
    DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.159723
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2105/AJPH.2009.159723
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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher J. Colvin & Myrna Pinxteren & Mandla Majola & Natalie Leon & Alison Swartz & Nonzuzo Mbokazi & Mark Lurie, 2020. "Fostering a healthy public for men and HIV: a case study of the Movement for Change and Social Justice (MCSJ)," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 6(1), pages 1-8, December.

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