Mitigating the Risks: Issues in HIV Prevention Programs in At-Risk Areas in the Dominican Republic


In December 1999, I began working for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in the Dominican Republic. This experience led to my interest in situation of HIV/AIDS in country. I surveyed literature on the spread of the disease worldwide, in the Caribbean and in the Dominican Republic in developing the following research questions: How might CRS best attempt to reduce HIV transmission and treat those infected in at-risk communities in the Dominican Republic? My sub-questions were: What are some of the elements for best practice prevention based programs worldwide that can be successfully adapted to the context of at-risk communities in the Dominican Republic? What prevention and treatment programs currently exist in the Dominican Republic at the private and public level? Can a Catholic NGO develop a successful prevention program given its theological foundations and imperatives?

I employed methods of qualitative research in determining the answers to my research questions. Statistical data was not desired in this study as much as an overall profile of AIDS in general, AIDS in the Dominican Republic, analysis of the actors and current interventions and, henceforth, a series of practical recommendations for projects. Through a thorough review of available literature, frequent field research and comprehensive semi-structured interviews with actors involved in HIV programming in the developing world, I utilized methods of descriptive and applied research to yield four principal findings along with a comprehensive, results framework for community based HIV prevention and treatment programs well-adapted to the setting of at-risk areas in the Dominican Republic.

The results framework reflects the desire of CRS to begin HIV/AIDS programming as a pilot experience, with specific objectives that focus upon one particular at-risk community in conjunction with a partner holding a similar set of institutional values. The initiative will serve as a learning experience and solidify steps toward what may potentially become a more comprehensive prevention and treatment program with broader geographic coverage.


Growth and Development | International Public Health

This document is currently not available here.