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Glob Public Health. 2013;8 Suppl 1:S7-29. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2013.811532. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

Social science research on HIV in Vietnam: a critical review and future directions.

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Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.


Social science research can enhance the response to Vietnam's growing HIV epidemic by capturing the country's rapidly changing social and political context. The present paper reviews the published, peer-reviewed and English-language social science literature on HIV in Vietnam in order to identify critical theoretical and substantive gaps, while laying the groundwork for future research. We found four broad foci for work on the social context of HIV and AIDS in Vietnam: the cultural meanings and social relationships that shape Vietnam's HIV epidemic; stigma and discrimination; social inequality and structural violence as contributors to HIV risk; and, finally, how broader global and social systems shape Vietnam's HIV epidemic. We signal the particular need for additional research on the effects of the media on attitudes towards HIV and AIDS, on social movements, and on health systems, as well as on a number of other key areas. Work along these lines, in addition to more effective communication of policy-relevant findings to those responsible for the development and implementation of policies and programmes, will strengthen Vietnam's response to HIV and AIDS.

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