1st December: “World Aids Day” Всемирный день борьбы со СПИДом – ВИЧ и коренные народы Севера в России HIV and indigenous peoples in Russia

(English version see bеlow)

WHO/ВОЗ

picture: WHO/ВОЗ

В связи с этой датой хотелось бы обратить внимание на один аспект эпидемии ВИЧ-инфекции в России, который еще недостаточно изучен и мало известен широкой общественности.  Я и сам относительно недавно узнал о нем.

Как показывают исследования у коренного населения Севера риск заразиться ВИЧ выше, чем у остальных жителей России (см. Буторов 2018, Волова и Родиниа 2016, 2014 Истомин и Мефодьев 2015). Эта инфекция в России встречается гораздо чаще, чем в странах Европы, а среди коренного населения Ямало-Ненецкого и Ханты-Мансийского округов ВИЧ распространяется еще быстрее. Доля ханты с ВИЧ инфекции в Сургутском районе Ханты-Мансийского округа уже в 2016ом году достигла 2,36% (в некоторых населенных пунктах даже выше 10%), что превышало уровень инфицированности среди некоренного населения района почти в 2 раза и общероссийский уровень в 3 раза (Буторов 2018, 56-57).  По данным Ямальского СПИД центра в 2018ом году заболеваемость ВИЧ-инфекцией среди представителей КМНС – составляла 73,8 на 100 тысяч населения (общий показатель 2018 в России 69,0 а в Германии 2,9).

На такое положение дел влияет множество факторов, сложным образом взаимодействующих между собой. Ситуация непростая еще и потому, что есть опасность, что при широком обсуждении сложившейся ситуации и ее причин могут снова быть использованы старые стереотипы о беспомощности и отсталости коренных народов Севера, что усилит их стигматизацию и патерналистское отношение к ним. В таких случаях легко может сработать логика, согласно которой причины социальных болезней лежат в индивидуальном поведении, а неспособность избавиться от них объясняется дефицитами каких-то внутренних свойств: проблемы будут искаться в «особых» генах, морали или рациональности конкретных людей или целых народов. Именно эти аргументы часто используются в подобных дискуссиях, например, о злоупотреблении алкоголем, заболеваемости туберкулезом, или об уровне суицида среди коренных народов. К сожалению, требование повысить свою моральность и рациональность не в состоянии изменить социальное положение людей, а неэффективность таких призывов лишь усиливает их стигматизацию.

Мой опыт социального антрополога в этой области довольно ограничен, и все же я могу поделится некоторыми наблюдениями, полученными во время многолетней полевой работы среди ненцев и ханты. На мой взгляд, мер профилактики ВИЧ и СПИДа и просвещения в этой области как общественного, так и школьного, пока недостаточно, и они мало эффективны (см. Истомин 2018). Часто все ограничивается призывами к целомудрию и супружеской верности. Создается впечатление, что подобные разговоры о сексуальности и ценностях потеряли связь с жизненным опытом и социальной реальностью. Однако обсуждение этого разрыва не происходит, оно табуировано, и может даже привести к моральной панике.

Помимо табуированности этих тем, есть еще и простые факторы, способствующие распространению ИППП (инфекции, передаваемые половым путём); важнейший среди них – несоблюдение правил защищённого секса. К сожалению, коренным жителям презервативы хорошего качества часто не доступны, а те, что им по карману, создают опасность заражения. Чтобы исправить положение дел и остановить распространение болезни, нужно чтобы информация о ВИЧ-инфекции и правилах защищённого секса, а также и сами качественные презервативы были бы легко доступны (например, во время Дня Оленевода). (сылка на информацию на ненецком языке)

Положение дел усугубляется еще тем, что носители ВИЧ-инфекции в обществе социально стигматизированы и, если об их ВИЧ-статусе станет известно, в обществе им угрожает социальная изоляция. В маленьких этнических сообществах такая угроза особенно сильна, ведь изоляция человека, его выпадение из сетей взаимной поддержки часто ставит под вопрос само его физическое существование.

Чтобы не заканчивать на грустной ноте отмечу, что если проблемы с профилактикой заболевания еще ждут своего решения, то в области выявления и лечения ВИЧ-инфицированных уже делается довольно много. Ежегодно проводится медосмотр коренных жителей на таких всеобщих праздниках, как День Оленевода. Инфицированным доступна антивирусная терапия, хотя ее уровень, к сожалению, еще отстаёт от доступного в других высоко-индустриализированных государствах. Антивирусную терапию получили в 2016ом году в Сургутском районе только 13% инфицированных ханты и их смертность была 7 раз выше, чем у остального населения (Буторов 2018, 58). Такая терапия чрезвычайно важна: получающий ее человек, у которого вирусная нагрузка ВИЧ ниже границы обнаружения, НЕ может заразить других и не представляет опасности даже в сексуальных связях.

Конечно, особенно важна активная позиция практикующих врачей и исследователей в области медицины. Именно они в Ямало-Ненецком Автономном округе первыми подняли вопрос о повышенном риске ВИЧ среди коренных народов России и начали искать причины и возможные способы с этим бороться. Но одних медицинских усилий тут недостаточно. Мне кажется, что без междисциплинарных исследований, широкого общественного обсуждения, и, самое важное, гражданского активизма самих представителей коренных народов Севера нам не удастся победить эпидемию ВИЧ.

Литература:

Буторов, Е. В. 2018. ‘ВИЧ-инфекция среди представителей коренных малочисленных народов Севера, проживающих на территории Сургутского района Ханты-Мансийского автономного округа – Югры’. Эпидемиология И Инфекционные Болезни. Актуальные Вопросы, no. 1: 54–60.

Волова, Л.Ю., and Е.В. Родина. 2016. ‘Сравнительная Характеристика Оппортунистических Инфекций На Фоне ВИЧ-Инфекции у Пришлого и Коренного Населения Ямало-Ненецкого Автономного Округа’. Вестник Совета Молодых Учёных и Специалистов Челябинской Области 2 (3 (14)).

Волова, Л.Ю., and Е.В. Родина. 2016. ‘Эпидемиологическая ситуация по ВИЧ-инфекции среди представителей коренных малочисленных народов Севера’. Уральский Медицинский Журнал, no. 9 (142): 55–58.

Волова, Л. Ю., and Е. В. Родина. 2014. ‘Эпидемиологическая Ситуация По ВИЧ-Инфекции Среди Представителей Коренных Малочисленных Народов Севера’. Журнал Инфектологии 6 (2): 76–82.

Волова, Л.Ю., and Е.В. Родина. 2013. ‘ВИЧ-Инфекция Среди Коренных Представителей Народов Севера’. ВИЧ-инфекция и иммуносупрессии 5 (3): 108–13.

Истомин, П. В. 2018. ‘Оценка Информированности Коренных Малочисленных Народов Ямало-Ненецкого Автономного Округа о Рисках Инфицирования ВИЧ’. Медицинский Альманах, no. 4: 83–85.

Истомин, П. В., Л. Ю. Волова, В.В. Мефодьев, и А. А. Романова. 2017. ‘Факторы Риска ВИЧ-Инфекции Среди Коренных Малочисленных Народов И Мигрантов Крайнего Севера’. Эпидемиология и инфекционные болезни 22 (3): 128–133.

Истомин, Павел Владимирович, и Владимир Васильевич Мефодьев. 2015. ‘Заболеваемость вич-инфекцией коренных малочисленных народов Крайнего Севера Западной Сибири’. Медицинская Наука И Образование Урала 16 (1 (81)): 88–91.

Сорокина, С. А., и З. М. Загдын. 2016. ‘Социально-Экономические, Культурные и Психологические Факторы, Влияющие На Распространение Туберкулеза и ВИЧ-Инфекции Среди Коренных Малочисленных Народов России (Обзор)’. Медицинский Альянс, no. 3: 24-29.

1st December: “World Aids Day”

Today, I would like to draw your attention to a neglected and almost unknown aspect of the HIV epidemic in Russia that I only recently learned about myself. Research done in the Russian North demonstrates that infection risks are especially high among indigenous peoples of the North (see Буторов 2018, Волова и Родиниа 2016, 2014 Истомин и Мефодьев 2015). HIV prevalence is much higher in Russia in comparison to the rest of Europe and the epidemic spreads especially quickly among the indigenous populations of Western Siberia, in the Yamal-Nenets and the Khanty-Mansi autonomous regions. The percentage of HIV-infected among the indigenous Khanty in the Surgut rayon of the Khanty Mansi Autonomous Region was 2,36% in 2016, and in some of the settlements even over 10%, which is two times higher than the local population and three times higher than the general Russian level (Буторов 2018, 56-57). According to numbers published by the Yamal AIDS Centre the HIV incidence rate was 73,8 persons per 100 000 in 2018 when the overall Russian rate is 69,0 and the German rate is 2,9.

The causes leading to such a situation are many and various and interact with each other in a complex way. There is quite some risk that discussing the topic revives old stereotypes about the lack of agency and backwardness of indigenous peoples and reinforce stigmatisation and paternalistic attitudes. It is easy to fall into the logic of blaming individual behaviour for social diseases and subsequently to explain the inability to resist them with some inherent deficiencies: special genes, deficient morals or the rationality of particular peoples or nations. Such arguments are often put forward in discussions of similar phenomena like alcohol abuse, prevalence of tuberculosis or suicide rates among indigenous peoples in Russia. Unfortunately, calls for higher morals and rational behaviour cannot change the social situation and the ineffectiveness of such appeals only reinforce stigmatisation.

My own competence as a social anthropologist at this topic is rather limited. Nevertheless, I would like to share some impressions from my own field of research in Western Siberia among the indigenous peoples of Khanty and Nenets. The level of prevention work against HIV and AIDS among the general population, as well as in schools, is quite low and ineffective (compare Истомин 2018) and limited in most cases to appeals for chastity and marital fidelity. I had the impression that such normative talk on sexuality and values has almost completely lost the connection to real life experiences and the social reality of the people. The discussion of this gap is tabooed for fear of raising a moral panic.

Beside the taboo to raise such themes, there are simple factors contributing to the spread of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and the most prevalent of them is the neglect of safer sex practices. Unfortunately condoms of sufficient quality are often not available and affordable and indigenous people bear a high risk of infection. Information on HIV and safer sex, as well as contraceptives of sufficient quality, should be easily available, for instance at the festival of the reindeer herder, in order to stop the spreading of HIV via sexual transmission among indigenous people (see the translation of information on HIV in Nenets language).

The situation is further aggravated by the fact that HIV positive people are stigmatized and threatened by social isolation if their status becomes known in their communities. Their vulnerability is especially high in small-scale ethnic communities as this isolation often means an exclusion from the local networks of reciprocity and solidarity and becomes a threat to physical survival.

In order to add some hope, I have to mention that beside the insufficient prophylaxis there is progress in the availability of testing and antiviral therapy for HIV positive people in Russia including the indigenous population. The level of undiagnosed cases of HIV is quite low among the indigenous peoples thanks to regular medical examinations including HIV testing at such public holidays as the “Day of the Reindeer Herder.”

Antivirus therapy is also available for infected persons, even if its quality does not reach the level of other highly industrialised countries. Only 13% of HIV positive indigenous Khanty received antivirus therapy in 2016 and their mortality was 7 times higher than among non-indigenous infected (Буторов 2018, 58). The availability of such therapy is of utmost importance as a person whose HIV virus load is below the limit of detection can virtually not infect others and does not represent a risk during sexual intercourse.

The active position of medics and medical research is of utmost importance and the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region took a pioneering role in that research into the high risk of HIV among the indigenous population of Russia and its possible solutions. To leave the topic to medics appears nevertheless not sufficient. I foremost consider a broad societal discourse and civil society activism of indigenous peoples themselves as well as interdisciplinary research an indispensable condition to fight HIV successfully.

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Is there something “Arctic” to youth well-being in northern settlements?

This was one of the guiding topics discussed at the session hosted by our WOLLIE project during the Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit conference 2019. On the one hand, the session served as a meeting spot for all the project members, to introduce their preliminary results to a broader audience. On the other hand, we engaged more broadly with concepts and debates in Arctic youth research.

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audience discussed seriously:)

Continue reading

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Future Arctic Ecosystems revisited or reindeer herding at the verge of extinction?

30 Oct, 14:00, Rovaniemi, Arktikum, 2nd floor, coffee room.

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The world’s northernmost herding horses? at work in herding reindeer, Kharaulakh, Laptev Sea

In this Wednesday Afternoon Coffee Chat (WACC) Florian Stammler will have a dialogue session with Aytalina Ivanova from Yakutsk reflecting on Arctic research agendas. What was supposed to be the first trip in a new multi-party consortium on scenarios of a changing Arctic became an example of how research agendas can – and should – change in response to the concerns of those people with whom we work in the field. During the first research trip, it turned out that rather than the project topic – people in the field were concerned about other things that are more immediately related to their future as a community. You are welcome to join and find out what worries people even more than the changing Arctic Climate. This WACC will feature impressive photos and videos from a very extreme environment on the shore of the Arctic Ocean, with nomads who unite tradition and innovation in very original ways. All welcome, coffee and biscuits will be served.

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New Book on Sámi Educational History

“Sámi Educational History in a Comparative International Perspective” establishes an overview of Sámi education in an historical and internationally comparative perspective and examines indigenous educational history around the world, ranging from Asia to Oceania to Sápmi and the Americas.Sami educational history book cover

The new book provides a comprehensive overview of Sámi education in an internationally comparative and multidisciplinary perspective, including anthropology. Despite the cross-national character of the Sámi population, academic literature on Sámi education has so far been published within the different nation states in the Sámi area, and rarely in English. Exploring indigenous educational history around the world, this collection spans from Asia to Oceania to Sápmi and the Americas. The chapters frame Sámi school history within an international context of indigenous and minority education. In doing so, two narrative threads are established: both traditional history of education, and perspectives on the decolonisation of education. This pioneering book will appeal to students and scholars of Sámi education, as well as indigenous education around the world.

Contributing authors: Daniel Lindmark (Umeå University), Ritva Kylli (University of Oulu), Jukka Nyyssönen (UiT – The Arctic University of Norway), Andrej Kotljarchuk (Södertörn University), Lukas Allemann (University of Lapland, Arctic Centre), Ekaterina Zmyvalova (Umeå University), Hanna Outakoski (Umeå University), Torjer A. Olsen (UiT – The Arctic University of Norway), Inker-Anni Linkola-Aikio (Sámi  University of Applied Sciences), Merja Paksuniemi (University of Lapland), Pigga Keskitalo (University of Lapland), Marikaisa Laiti (University of Lapland), Yoko Tanabe (University College London), Madoka Hammine (University of Lapland), Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen (University of Helsinki), Francisco Apurina (University of Helsinki), Lea Kantonen (University of the Arts Helsinki), Mere Kepa (James Henare Maori Research Centre), Elizabeth Jackson-Barrett (Murdoch University), Libby Lee Hammond (Murdoch University) and Otso Kortekangas (Stockholm University)

More information:

https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783030241117

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We don’t survive – we live here!

These were the introductory words of Alexandr Ivanov, the head of the Olenek district in Yakutia, in his discussion during our session on indigenous people’s territorial governance under industrial development at the Northern Forum for sustainable development in Yakutsk, 25 – 26 September 2019 (full session programme).

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practicing governance on the land: herding reindeer through a gold deposit in Neryungryi District, Yakutia

He thought it is useful to remind researchers from any field and country that there is a tendency in scholarship to portray indigenous life in the Russian Arctic as a struggle for survival, rather than a quest for harnessing opportunities, achieve well-being and happiness, and just living at home. This stems from the old idea that the Arctic is a resource frontier with a tough climate rather than home for people. Social scientists doing Arctic Studies have acknowledged this long ago, and published on it before. Continue reading

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Call for Workshop contributions “Gender in Polar Research: Gendered field work conditions, epistemologies and legacies”

A two-day workshop in the framework of

Arctic Science Summit Week 2020, Akureyri, Iceland, 29-30(TBC) March 2020

funded by IASC – the International Arctic Science Committee

Gender in the Arctic

The IASC Social Sciences and Humanities Working Group (WG), together with IASC’s Cryosphere, Marine, and Terrestrial WGs, invites you to a unique cross-disciplinary workshop attempting to bring together the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities in order to discuss and reflect on the gendered nature of Polar research.
The workshop will combine three strands of debate that have thus far not been discussed systematically: (1) Doing science in the 21st century in a way that departs from but also pays careful attention to the history of exploration and colonial endeavours as “heroic” and masculine activities – while a masculine image still seems to dominate the methodologies and practices of Arctic and Polar research. (2) The still existing gender gap when it comes to female researchers in hard sciences, their career prospects, and their sometimes difficult working conditions as women in the field. Critiques of the gender gap and gendered research work have thus far neglected the diversity aspects of queer and gender minority (LGBTQI) researchers. They face particular challenges while working in a still largely heteronormative research environment as it is described for research stations, vessels or tundra/taiga camps. (3) The gendered composition of researchers as actors and the gendered spaces of conducting research, including the field sites, have an important impact on research interests, research design, research ethics and epistemology. The gender bias affects the research subject and methodology, and Polar research can learn from and communicate with other fields of science about how to ensure a high standard of equality, sensitivity to issues of marginalization, and ethical production of science.

We invite participants of the ASSW 2020 from natural and social sciences to pop by at the workshop and to join the discussions and break-out groups. Participants will be engaged through alternative formats to gain a maximum of knowledge exchange as well as to map out the state of the art and ideas about where to go from there.

We invite abstracts for a great variety of contributions in conversation with the three themes outlined above: besides as a set of classic academic papers (15 min) and short inputs (5 min) (e.g. sharing experiences or introducing NGOs and movements).

In particular, the workshop facilitates discussions and break-out group work for examining pressing issues in the thematic fields based on individual, group and scholarly experience and activism. Audiovisual or artistic contributions are very welcome. Also join us for volunteering as an organiser of a break-out group.

Submission of proposal and request for funding

Describe your contribution with an abstract of max 250 words and submit at the latest on the 1st of October 2019 to: gertrude.saxinger@univie.ac.at and otto.habeck@uni-hamburg.de

We can fund a limited number of participants up to 800 euros each. Priority will be given to early-career researchers. Please, indicate your financial need in your message to us.

For more information see IASSA Working Group Gender in the Arctic

https://gender-arctic.jimdo.com/

 

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New PhD Position at the University of Kiel in Human Reindeer Interactions

The University of Kiel, Germany announces a
PhD Position “Human-reindeer interactions in contemporary and ancient Siberian communities”
in the fields of Cultural Anthropology, Zooarchaeology, Archaeology

The term is fixed for a period of 3,5 years (42 months).Reindeer are intensively herded as a means of subsistence and symbolic identity in many circumpolar societies, but, unique for husbanded animals, lack clear expressions of the ‘domestication syndrome’. Taiga reindeer herding strategies can be seen as domestication-in-practice; they probably impact more strongly on reindeer behavior and biology than the large-scale herding practices in the North Eurasian tundra. Evolutionary changes to the phenotype and the genome of reindeer as well as health-related impacts through such taiga human-animal cohabitation systems are still poorly understood and require more empirical research. The successful candidate will contribute to this field, investigating the evolution of human-reindeer interactions and the emergence of reindeer herding as a means of food production, transport and ideological expression in the Western Siberia taiga through combined ethno-archaeological and zooarchaeological scientific approaches guided by a rigorous theoretical framework grounded in cultural anthropology.

The full announcement can be found here

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