Machismo, public health and sexuality-related stigma in Cartagena

María Cristina Quevedo-Gómez, Anja Krumeich, César Ernesto Abadía-Barrero, Eduardo Pastrana-Salcedo, Hubertus van den Borne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This paper reports on an ethnographic study in Cartagena, Colombia. Over a seven-month fieldwork period, 35 men and 35 women between 15 and 60 years of age discussed the social context of HIV/AIDS through in-depth interviews, life histories and drawing. Participants considered the transgression of traditional gender roles as prescribed by machismo a major risk factor for HIV infection. In addition, they integrated public-health concepts of risk groups with these long-standing constructions of gender roles and sexuality-related stigma to create the notion of 'AIDS carriers'. The bricolage between machismo, public health and sexuality-related stigma that participants created and consequent preventive measures (based on an avoidance of sex with people identified as 'AIDS carriers') was a dynamic process in which participants were aware that changes in this particular interpretation of risk were necessary to confront the local epidemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-235
Number of pages13
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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