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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Through indigenous eyes: Native Americans and the HIV epidemic

Author: Weaver, Hilary N.
Author Background:
Date 2/1/99
Type Journal
Journal Title: Health and Social Work
Volume/Pages Vol 24(1): 27-34
Subject Matter Native Americans
Abstract This article examines the phenomenon of HIV within the context of a Native American culture. Native Americans have some risk factors for HIV transmission that differ from those found in other populations. Gender and family roles, attitudes toward sexual orientation, and health care beliefs vary across cultural groups. It is imperative that social workers have an understanding of the belief system specific to the indigenous cultural group of their clients. In addition, prevention and intervention activities with this population must consider cultural variables to maximize their effectiveness. Brief anecdotes are used to illustrate various concepts related to HIV and Native Americans and to include a human face along with facts and statistics. The author s unique perspective, coupled with a broad discussion of relevant issues enables non-Native American readers to understand better the phenomenon of HIV as it exists within a Native American context. ((c) 1999 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)