Sexual Behavior and HIV Infection over the Life Course in Rural Malawi

Emily Freeman, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Philip A. Anglewicz, Tulane University

Although HIV/AIDS research and policy has typically focused on men and women of reproductive ages (15-49), recent reports suggest that HIV infection risk also applies to individuals over age 50. Despite this most datasets in sub Saharan Africa are limited to individuals aged 15-49, particularly for women. Here we use a unique dataset from rural Malawi that contains a substantial percentage of individuals over age 50. Using this broad age range, we compare HIV prevalence and sexual behaviors between individuals in reproductive ages with the older Malawi population, and examine patterns of HIV risk and sexual behavior over the life course. We find that although some HIV/AIDS risk characteristics decline over age 50, others actually increase. Overall, we find that the over 50 population in rural Malawi is more relevant for HIV risk than sample restrictions would lead one to believe.

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Presented in Poster Session 3