Social marginalization and children's rights: HIV-affected children in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Health Soc Work. 2009 Nov;34(4):293-300. doi: 10.1093/hsw/34.4.293.


This article examines the social epidemiology of HIV/AIDS within a Caribbean context and the specific ways in which children are affected. In particular, the article explores the nature of risk and vulnerability among especially marginalized children: street children. Literature on HIV/AIDS was reviewed, and semistructured interviews with 44 key informants were subjected to an analysis based on the feminist theory of intersectionality to explore the ways in which social marginalization intersects with risk and increases vulnerability to HIV infection. Despite advances in children's rights and the provision of testing and treatment programs, stigma, discrimination, and social marginalization combine to limit the rights and access to services of children affected by HIV/AIDS in Trinidad and Tobago. The author suggests that universal discourses on the concepts of risk and rights may be an inadequate basis for addressing the health and social needs of especially marginalized children and that targeted social action to tackle the processes of marginalization is also needed.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Homeless Youth*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Prejudice*
  • Sampling Studies
  • Stereotyping*
  • Trinidad and Tobago / epidemiology
  • Vulnerable Populations