Gender Disparities in HIV/AIDS Epidemiology: A Study of Expectant Couples in Selected Rural Communities in Nigeria

Abstract

Gender disparities appear to be widening such that women make up a growing proportion of persons living with HIV, globally. Statistics has shown that the highest population of people living with HIV are women in the child-bearing age of 15-49 years. However, beyond women’s greater biological susceptibility and other explanations of why men and women are at disparate risk for HIV infection, it is believed that unequal exposure to routine HIV-testing could contribute to gender disparities in HIV epidemiology. In the public health institutions in Nigeria for instance, HIV counseling and testing is mandatory in Ante-Natal care (ANC) and routinely carried out on all expectant mothers, while their husbands are excluded from the routine. Adopting the convenience sampling technique, expectant couples were included in the study, from Health Centers in rural communities in Ogun and Edo States of Nigeria. Data were collected through a structured questionnaire and analyzed, using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 16. Among other findings, the study revealed that, whereas all the expectant mothers know their HIV status, only 7.8% of the expectant fathers know theirs; and 54.8% of the expectant fathers expressed willingness to undergo voluntary HIV-testing. Even though there are other avenues where the men could undergo HIV-testing, they would not, because it is neither routine, nor mandatory. This deprivation due to exclusion from ante-natal routine could have made a difference in the current HIV statistics in the study area and thus has implications for gender disparities in HIV epidemiology.



Author Information
Sokoya Grace Oluseyi, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Nigeria
Ayinde, Bukola Dolapo, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Nigeria
Sokoya MosunmOluwa, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Nigeria
Asuelime, Destiny, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria
Olanike Okubanjo, St. Barnabas Health Systems, New Jersey, USA

Paper Information
Conference: NACSS2014
Stream: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender

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Posted by amp21