159114 Gender inequality, domestic violence and male partner characteristics as risk factors for HIV infection among women in Zimbabwe

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 2:45 PM

William Sambisa, PhD , Carolina Population Center, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Sian L. Curtis, PhD , MEASURE Evaluation, Carolina Population Center, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Women continue to experience higher rates and incidence of HIV than men in Zimbabwe. Previous studies in Zimbabwe have focused on individual determinants of sexual behavior and neglected contextual factors that shape the reality of women's sexual behavior. Current research trends on AIDS in Africa seek to integrate both sociocultural and structural explanations into a research paradigm that focuses on individual behavior (Dworkin and Erhardt 2007). Since men are primarily responsible for increased transmission of HIV to women, it is essential to include their characteristics and risky behaviors as a context that increases women vulnerability to HIV. No study on women in Zimbabwe has yet assessed gender inequality, domestic violence and male characteristics as risk factors for HIV among women. An understanding of aforementioned factors that shape the spread of infections between partners is necessary for the development of comprehensive multilevel behavioral and integrated strategies that target both women and men, and attempt to modify social norms to support uptake of behavior change. Using the 2005 Zimbabwe DHS couples data, the study explores the association between gender inequality, domestic violence, partner characteristics and sexual behaviors on the one hand, and women's sexual behavior and HIV status on the other. Descriptive analyses will compare the risk behaviors and HIV status of women and their partners. Bivariate relationships between gender dynamics and sexual behavior of women and their partners will then be examined. Finally, multivariate analysis will explore the relative importance of gender dynamics on women's sexual behavior and HIV status.

Learning Objectives:
1. Articulate the degree of influence of gender inequality and domestic violence indicators on risk of HIV infection among women in Zimbabwe 2. Identify womenís sexual practices associated with HIV seropositivity. 3. Articulate the influence of gender inequality indicators on men's sexual behavior. 4. Identify menís characteristics and self-reported risk behavior that increases womenís vulnerability to infection.

Keywords: Gender, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.