Profiling HIV-Prevalence Among Women in East Africa: Who Are Most at Risk?

Jacques B. O. Emina , University of Kinshasa

Though its global incidence is declining, HIV/AIDS remains the leading cause of death in women of reproductive age in sub-Sahara Africa. This study aimed to examine the predictors of HIV prevalence among women (15-49) in Eastern Africa; and identify the most-at-risk groups for HIV sero-positivity. Overall, marital status was the best predictor of HIV sero-status. The probability of being HIV-positive is higher among widows and divorced. The effect of age, wealth index and place of residence varies by marital status and country. These findings suggest that unmarried sexually active women provide an important pool of HIV transmitters. Furthermore, the study reveals interaction between demographic and modernity theories. Therefore, to achieve zero new infection one of HIV eradication strategy, interventions should target and prioritize groups according to their prevalence and demographic weight. Majority of HIV programs focus on the sexual workers and pregnant women because they are easily identifiable.

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 Presented in Session 5. Health & Mortality 1