HIV/AIDS in West Papua: Current Conditions, Ongoing Challenges

Event details

SSGM Seminar Series

Date & time

Tuesday 01 April 2014


Lecture Theatre 2, Hedley Bull Centre (130), corner of Garran Road and Liversidge Street, ANU
ANU Canberra


Jenny Munro


Louana Gaffey
+61 2 6125 8244


West Papua faces an HIV/AIDS epidemic that is mainly affecting Papuan youth. Recent scholarship on HIV in Melanesia asks us to consider how HIV prevention and treatment agendas are produced, translated and enacted locally at the interface of international models, national capacities, and cultural and religious values. This seminar considers how these forces are intersecting in West Papua based on recent qualitative research projects conducted since 2011. In doing so it identifies ongoing challenges that relate to ethnic and cultural tensions, disconnections between service providers and clients, marginalization of indigenous voices in policy and program interventions, and the messy terrain of a patchwork HIV response being played out in various ways by donors, community organisations, and government agencies. It will highlight some activities being undertaken by indigenous-led community groups in response to these conditions, and also consider what an analysis of current conditions in West Papua contributes to conversations on HIV in Melanesia more broadly.

About the Speaker

Jenny Munro is a cultural anthropologist who works in West Papua (Tanah Papua) and other regions of eastern Indonesia. She joined the SSGM as a Research Fellow in 2013. Since completing her PhD in 2010, Jenny has conducted five collaborative ethnographic research projects in the domains of HIV/AIDS, sexuality, education and alcohol-related violence. Her research reflects a broader interest in understanding emerging and enduring inequalities that are reshaping daily life in West Papua. As a result of this research Jenny has published articles on racial stigma and premarital pregnancy experiences (Journal of Youth Studies), the politics of HIV research and policy-formation (The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology), and indigenous experiences of the value of education in highlands West Papua (Indonesia).

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