Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Anjali Dayal, Ph.D.


A global epidemic that has affected lives around the world, AIDS has accentuated inequalities across class, race, gender and sexual orientation. In many developing countries, women are disproportionately affected by the epidemic and are more vulnerable than men to HIV infection. The objective of this paper is to address the cultural and social norms surrounding gender and sexuality that have allowed and perpetuated women’s susceptibility to AIDS. I examine the gender constructs and inequities in Brazil and Nigeria to demonstrate how gender affects transmission in sexual relationships as well as the role it plays in creating differential experiences with HIV for men and women. Furthermore, I discuss how gay-related stigma and discrimination in both countries have precluded men who have sex with men from seeking HIV treatment. I analyze the centrality of human rights and social mobilization to health policy and demonstrate the ways in which Brazil has been able to make great strides towards reducing AIDS-related incidences and mortality rates by listening to the demands of civil society and following a rights-based approach to AIDS. The inclusion of civil society actors and a commitment to human rights are integral in effectively addressing AIDS.

Included in

Public Health Commons