Perceptions of Risk and Strategies for Prevention: Responses to HIV/AIDS in Rural Malawi
This paper combines quantitative and qualitative data to investigate changes in perceived risk of contracting HIV/AIDS in rural Malawi. Using longitudinal survey data, we find that Malawians worried less about contracting HIV/AIDS in 2001 than in 1998. According to qualitative interviews and observational journal accounts, HIV/AIDS and strategies to prevent it are a frequent topic of conversation amongst married Malawians. Women report worrying most about their husbands as a possible source of infection, discussing with them the importance of avoiding infection, and, increasingly, using divorce to reduce their risk. Men report worrying most about their extramarital partners and adopting preventive strategies such as fewer partners and more careful partner selection. We show that the decline in perceived risk is significantly associated with declines in the behaviors that Malawians worry most about and perceptions of risk in individuals’ social networks. We interpret these findings as evidence that Malawians are changing their behavior in ways that may reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- FFF1Georges NNN1Reniers, 2003. "Divorce and Remarriage in Rural Malawi," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 1(6), pages 175-206, September.
- John C. Caldwell, 2000. "Rethinking the African AIDS Epidemic," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 26(1), pages 117-135.
- Hans-Peter Kohler & Jere R. Behrman & Susan Cotts Watkins, 1999. "The structure of social networks and fertility decisions: evidence from S. Nyanza District, Kenya," MPIDR Working Papers WP-1999-005, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
- Gregson, Simon & Zhuwau, Tom & Anderson, Roy M. & Chandiwana, Stephen K., 1998. "Is there evidence for behaviour change in response to AIDS in rural Zimbabwe?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 321-330, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gdm:wpaper:0305. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Günther Fink)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.