Author(s): Garcia J, Parker RG, Garcia J, Parker RG
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Abstract Brazil's national response to AIDS has been tied to the ability to mobilize resources from the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and a variety of donor agencies. The combination of favorable political economic opportunities and the bottom-up demands from civil society make Brazil a particularly interesting case. Despite the stabilization of the AIDS epidemic within the general Brazilian population, it continues to grow in pockets of poverty, especially among women and blacks. We use resource mobilization theories to examine the role of Afro-Brazilian religious organizations in reaching these marginalized populations. From December 2006 through November 2008, we conducted ethnographic research, including participant observation and oral histories with religious leaders (N = 18), officials from the National AIDS Program (N = 12), public health workers from Rio de Janeiro (N = 5), and non-governmental organization (NGO) activists who have worked with Afro-Brazilian religions (N = 5). The mobilization of resources from international donors, political opportunities (i.e., decentralization of the National AIDS Program), and cultural framings enabled local Afro-Brazilian religious groups to forge a national network. On the micro-level, in Rio de Janeiro, we observed how macro-level structures led to the proliferation of capacity-building and peer educator projects among these religious groups. We found that beyond funding assistance, the interrelation of religious ideologies, leadership, and networks linked to HIV can affect mobilization. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Soc Sci Med
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research