Women, Culture and HIV/AIDS : Modeling the Impact of Cultural Norms in the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Three Regions in sub-Saharan Africa

Fafanyo Asiseh, Washington State University
Robert Rosenman, Washington State University

Heterosexual relationships have been accepted as the main means by which HIV/AIDS is transmitted in sub-Sahara Africa. Culture affects risky sexual behavior related to heterosexual partnerships. This study analyzes cultural influence on risky sexual behavior in 3 regions in sub-Saharan Africa (Southern, Western and Eastern Africa) using the data from Demographic Health Surveys. Countries in Eastern and Western Africa showed similar factors and were different from countries in Southern Africa. In general, the results show that cultural norms affecting marriage, education and rural living influences the use of condom and risky sexual behavior in all three regions. In Southern Africa, knowledge of HIV/AIDS and seeing an infected person decreased risky sexual behavior. Sexual violence, which is acceptable in most cultures, decreased use of condoms and increased risky sexual behavior among women in Eastern and Western Africa.

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Presented in Poster Session 7