Young Women's Marital Status and HIV Risk in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe

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2010-10-01
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Asiedu, Christobel
Asiedu, Elizabeth
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Owusu, Francis
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Community and Regional Planning

Community and regional planning is a professional field of study aimed at assessing the ever-changing socioeconomic and physical environments of our communities and planning for their future. Planners evaluate and seize opportunities to understand and solve problems. Most planners work at the local level, but they are concerned with issues that affect the world: the preservation and enhancement of the quality of life in a community, the protection of the environment, the promotion of equitable economic opportunity; and the management of growth and change of all kinds.

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The Department of Community and Regional Planning was established in 1978 when it was split from the Department of Landscape Architecture and Community Planning.

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1978–present

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This paper examines whether marriage increases the risk of HIV infection among women aged 15-24 in Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. We fi nd that in all the three countries, the risk of infection is signifi cantly lower for never-married young women than ever-married young women; however, the difference in risk disappears when we control for age, educational attainment, household wealth, and area of residence. Thus, our result highlights the importance of socio-economic and demographic factors in analyzing the link between marital status and HIV risk among young women. Particularly, our fi ndings show that age and education play a crucial role in determining the level of HIV/AIDS risk for young women. The result also implies that marriage as an institution does not necessarily elevate the risk of HIV infection among young women.

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This article is from Journal of African Development, 2010 12(2); 33-46. Posted with permission.

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