Condom Use, HIV/AIDS Prevention and Gender Relations in Vietnam: Changing Paradigm in the Sexual Realm

Myriam de Loenzien, IRD/LPED

Despite a high HIV/AIDS incidence in Vietnam, condom remains little used. Our quantitative and qualitative study involving 814 individuals aged 15-59 years in 326 households in Quang Ninh province (Vietnam) combined with results from the 2005 National Population and AIDS Indicators survey show that part of this low level of condom use relates to gaps in policy but also to the perception of condom use as endangering prevalent norms in the realm of sexual relationships. The double standard of male leadership and female virtue leads to sexual behaviours in contradiction with recommendations from prevention programmes. This contradiction occurs in various contexts and poses sharp problems to HIV positive couples. Overall, it gains diversity among them. Such evolutions show the necessity for a reformulation of gender relations to make them compatible with the struggle against HIV/AIDS. As such, male leadership and female virtue are challenged rather than endangered by condom use.

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Presented in Poster Session 4