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Challenges of a pandemic: HIV/AIDS-related problems affecting Kenyan widows

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  • Luginaah, Isaac
  • Elkins, David
  • Maticka-Tyndale, Eleanor
  • Landry, Tamara
  • Mathui, Mercy

Abstract

The paper reports the findings of a qualitative study using focus group discussions and in-depth interviews about the challenges faced by widows as they confront the direct and indirect impacts of HIV/AIDS in Nyanza, Kenya. Two focus groups were conducted with widows from two community-based organizations. This was followed by in-depth interviews with four members and two leaders from each of the community-based organizations. The contents were analysed using grounded theory. The findings reveal several challenges encountered by widows in their struggles with the direct and indirect impacts of HIV/AIDS. Widows who know or do not know their HIV status are conscious about the possibility of contracting or transmitting the virus. Wife inheritance (a Luo custom), emerged as an outstanding issue for the widows in the context of HIV/AIDS transmission. The widows employ various strategies to resist being inherited. Widows in the current epidemic navigate issues of sexuality in various ways, such as insisting their partners use condoms or permanently abstaining from sexual intercourse.

Suggested Citation

  • Luginaah, Isaac & Elkins, David & Maticka-Tyndale, Eleanor & Landry, Tamara & Mathui, Mercy, 2005. "Challenges of a pandemic: HIV/AIDS-related problems affecting Kenyan widows," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 1219-1228, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:60:y:2005:i:6:p:1219-1228
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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Policy responses > Behavioral

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    Cited by:

    1. Oleke, Christopher & Blystad, Astrid & Rekdal, Ole Bjørn, 2005. ""When the obvious brother is not there": Political and cultural contexts of the orphan challenge in northern Uganda," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(12), pages 2628-2638, December.
    2. Coast, Ernestina, 2006. "Local understandings of, and responses to, HIV: Rural-urban migrants in Tanzania," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 1000-1010, August.
    3. Camlin, Carol S. & Kwena, Zachary A. & Dworkin, Shari L. & Cohen, Craig R. & Bukusi, Elizabeth A., 2014. "“She mixes her business”: HIV transmission and acquisition risks among female migrants in western Kenya," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 146-156.
    4. Chris Richard Kenyon & Lung Vu & Joris Menten & Brendan Maughan-Brown, 2014. "Male Circumcision and Sexual Risk Behaviors May Contribute to Considerable Ethnic Disparities in HIV Prevalence in Kenya: An Ecological Analysis," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 9(8), pages 1-12, August.
    5. Muriuki, Andrew M. & Moss, Tamarah, 2016. "The impact of para-professional social workers and community health care workers in Côte d'Ivoire: Contributions to the protection and social support of vulnerable children in a resource poor country," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 230-237.
    6. Mantell, Joanne E. & Dworkin, Shari L. & Exner, Theresa M. & Hoffman, Susie & Smit, Jenni A. & Susser, Ida, 2006. "The promises and limitations of female-initiated methods of HIV/STI protection," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(8), pages 1998-2009, October.

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