Women’s Marital Trajectories and HIV Risk in Kenya, Malawi, and Zimbabwe

Simona Bignami, Université de Montréal
Shelley Clark, McGill University

A growing body of research has shown that in generalized AIDS epidemics, like those occurring in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, decisions about marriage—when to marry, whom to marry, whether to stay married, and whether to remarry—are critically linked to an individual’s risk of acquiring HIV over the course of his or her lifetime. In this study we expand this literature and we draw on data from recent nationally representative surveys of adult women aged 15-49 carried out in three countries (Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe) to examine the association between recent marital trajectories and HIV status. In particular, we use sequence analysis techniques to explore how women’s trajectories with respect to their first and subsequent unions are correlated with their HIV status at the time of the survey.

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Presented in Session 24: HIV/AIDS