Participatory ethnography: a perspective to study and approach HIV/AIDS in Cartagena, Colombia

M.C. Quevedo Gomez

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal


In order to address the local HIV/AIDS epidemic in Cartagena (Colombia), priority should be given to structural actions such as reducing socioeconomic inequalities, providing access to health care and education as well as regulations to prevent sexual exploitation and sexual abuse in the frame of sexual tourism. Among the actors that need to generate these large-scale structural changes are the government and private sector (e.g. national and international health insurance companies operating in Colombia and the international tourism industry).This proposal for HIV prevention and a collective analysis of HIV infection are the outcome of a five-year participatory ethnography conducted with 96 inhabitants of Cartagena. The collective analysis of HIV infection is summarized in a so-called ‘Local-Scientific diagram’, which pictures HIV infection in Cartagena as a social phenomenon that involves complex and dynamic interactions between local ideas of body, ethnicity, class, gender roles, sexuality, sexual risk and the social exclusion that derives from these interpretations. The diagram also sheds light on the way local dynamics of the government’s performance and the international sex tourist industry play a role in this complex social phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • van den Borne, Hubertus, Supervisor
  • Krumeich, Johanna, Co-Supervisor
  • Abadia-Barrero, C.E., Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date20 Sept 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Cartagena-Colombia
  • Participatory Ethnography
  • Structural actions
  • HIV-prevention


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