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Young Women's Marital Status and HIV Risk in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe


  • Christobel Asiedu

    () (Louisiana Tech University)

  • Elizabeth Asiedu

    () (University of Kansas)

  • Francis Owusu



This paper examines whether marriage increases the risk of HIV infection among women aged 15-24 in Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. We find that in all the three countries, the risk of infection is significantly lower for never-married young women than ever-married young women; however, the difference in risk disappears when we control for age, educational attainment, household wealth, and area of residence. Thus, our result highlights the importance of socio-economic and demographic factors in analyzing the link between marital status and HIV risk among young women. Particularly, our findings show that age and education play a crucial role in determining the level of HIV/AIDS risk for young women. The result also implies that marriage as an institution does not necessarily elevate the risk of HIV infection among young women.

Suggested Citation

  • Christobel Asiedu & Elizabeth Asiedu & Francis Owusu, 2010. "Young Women's Marital Status and HIV Risk in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe," Journal of African Development, African Finance and Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 33-46.
  • Handle: RePEc:afe:journl:v:12:y:2010:i:2:p:33-46

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Parsons, Christopher R. & Skeldon, Ronald & Walmsley, Terrie L. & Winters, L. Alan, 2007. "Quantifying international migration : a database of bilateral migrant stocks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4165, The World Bank.
    2. Nicholas P. Glytsos, 2005. "The contribution of remittances to growth: A dynamic approach and empirical analysis," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(5), pages 468-496, October.
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