Fishing and the maritime industry are central to everyday life and both the formal and informal economies of the Republic of Kiribati. In consideration of Kiribati’s vulnerability to HIV, seafarers are always, understandably, a central concern. The issue of I-Kiribati women who board foreign fishing vessels for sex work is a matter that also regularly appears in documents and papers considering HIV prevention strategies for Kiribati. Although there has, to date, been no diagnoses of HIV from among this group, the position of such women as potential vectors of transmission of the virus into the general population of Kiribati tends to be given more prominence than their own specific vulnerabilities.
Keywords: HIV, sex work, testing, condom, violence, discrimination