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This paper competed in the Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group Student Paper Competition.


Using the 2004 Knowledge, Attitudes, Behaviour and Practices (KABP) national survey, this research investigates factors contributing to HIV/AIDS-related risky sexual behavior in Jamaica, using the theoretical underpinnings behind the concept of “risk” to elucidate the relative vulnerability of different demographic groups. In particular, how is risk defined and by whom, and how does this shape the risk environment for HIV/AIDS. The social construction of “risk” is explored as an act of translation of science, whose formalized and institutionalized meanings do not always match up to the individual’s perception of personal risk to HIV/AIDS. The disjunction between knowledge and actual behavioral practices should be addressed in HIV/AIDS policy and related education and youth prevention programs.



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