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“Like sucking on a lollipop with the wrapper still on”: women’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and use of condoms in two Brazilian cities

Paula Miranda-Ribeiro, CEDEPLAR, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Andrea B. Simão, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Marisa A Lacerda, Centro de Desenvolvimento e Planejamento Regional (CEDEPLAR)
Maria-Eponina A Torres, Centro de Desenvolvimento e Planejamento Regional (CEDEPLAR)

The objective of this article is to understand women’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, with emphasis on the use of condoms, from the perspective of women residing in Belo Horizonte and Recife, two state capitals in two different regions of Brazil. Belo Horizonte is the state capital of Minas Gerais, in the rich Southeast region, whereas Recife is the state capital of Pernambuco, in the poorest Northeast of Brazil. Data come from 83 in-depth interviews carried out in both municipalities between October and December, 2007, with women aged between 18 and 59. Results show that condoms are not used for five main reasons: pregnancy, use of another contraceptive method, trust in one’s partner, inequality in gender relations and dislike of condoms by women and not only by men – “it’s like sucking on a lollipop with the wrapper still on.”

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Poster Session 1: reproductive health, HIV-AIDS, poverty and gender