AIDS Rumours, Vulnerability, and the Banana Wars—A View From Dominica
Keywords:HIV/AIDS, Caribbean, banana wars, rumours, narrative
AbstractThis article examines rumours about HIV/AIDS in relation to the recent shift in Dominica’s economic status from an agricultural producer to a service provider. This shift has been the direct result of neo-liberal economic policies and decisions made by the international economic community. The virtual destruction of Dominica’s agricultural sector has forced the country to develop its tourist sector. The increased reliance on tourism and emigration as sources of income has led to anxieties about contact and contagion; specifically, people have become acutely aware of the social and health consequences that would result from this economic crisis. Through a close reading of AIDS rumors circulating in Dominica in the late 1990s and through the present, we can begin to better appreciate the connections between experiences of colonial exploitation, slavery, racism, current economic globalization, the impact of economic crisis on health, and local reactions to HIV/AIDS intervention strategies.