Is marriage a viable strategy of reducing HIV/AIDS among women in Zimbabwe?

Jeremy Dickson Gumbo, University of the Witwatersrand
Clifford O. Odimegwu, University of the Witwatersrand

Research has identified the practice of multiple concurrent sexual partnerships (MCPs) as increasing the risks of HIV/AIDS infection. This practice in Sub-Saharan Africa is mainly driven by cultural norms; and some research suggests that it is more common among single individuals than those in marriage. The study examined prevalence of HIV/AIDS infection by women’s marital status, together with selected socioeconomic, demographic, and behaviour factors in Zimbabwe. The aim was to evaluate the viability of marriage as a strategy to reduce HIV/AIDS infection in a population where heterosexual intercourse is the main mode of transmission. Data used is from Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey 2005-06 (ZDHS) and contains information about socio-demographic and HIV status for 4,491 women of reproductive age. Findings were that currently married women had lowest HIV/AIDS prevalence, 18.02% compared to never married 28.01% and formerly married 45%. Marriage is therefore a recommendable behavioural practice in reducing HIV/AIDS infections.

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Presented in Session 82: Fertility in the context of HIV/AIDS