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Gender Equality and Education: Increasing the Uptake of HIV Testing among Married Women in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Citation

Singh, Kavita; Luseno, Winnie Kavulani; & Haney, Erica (2013). Gender Equality and Education: Increasing the Uptake of HIV Testing among Married Women in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe. AIDS Care, 25(11), 1452-1461. PMCID: PMC3966089

Abstract

Gender equality and education are being promoted as strategies to combat the HIV epidemic in Africa, but few studies have looked at the role of gender equality and education in the uptake of a vital service – HIV testing. This study looks at the associations between education (a key input needed for gender equality) and key gender equality measures (financial decision making and attitudes toward violence) with ever tested for HIV and tested for HIV in the past year. The study focused on currently married women ages between15–24 and 25–34 in three countries – Kenya, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The data came from the Demographic and Health Surveys. Logistic regression was used to study the role of gender equality and education on the HIV testing outcomes after controlling for both social and biological factors. Results indicated that education had a consistent positive relationship with testing for both age groups, and the associations were always significant for young women aged 15–24 years (p<0.01). The belief that gender-based violence is unacceptable was positively associated with testing for women aged 25–34 in all the three countries, although the associations were only significant in Kenya (among women reporting ever being tested: OR 1.58, p<0.00; among women reporting being tested in the past year: OR 1.34, p<0.05) and Zambia (among women reporting ever being tested: OR 1.24, p<0.10; among women reporting being tested in the past year: OR 1.29, p<0.05). High financial decision making was associated with testing for women aged 25–34 in Zimbabwe only (among women reporting ever being tested: OR 1.66, p<0.01). Overall, the findings indicate that the education and the promotion of gender equality are important strategies for increasing uptake of a vital HIV service, and thus are important tools for protecting girls and young women against HIV.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540121.2013.774311

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2013

Journal Title

AIDS Care

Author(s)

Singh, Kavita
Luseno, Winnie Kavulani
Haney, Erica

PMCID

PMC3966089