The Impact Of HIV/AIDS-related Household Shocks on Adolescent Fertility Intentions and Early Reproductive Behavior: Evidence from South Africa

Erika K. Barth Cottrell, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Although a great deal of research addresses the impact of HIV/AIDS on mortality, less is known about the relationship between HIV/AIDS and fertility. What we do know largely centers around the fertility of HIV-positive women. We know less about whether the threat of HIV/AIDS, and the household impact of HIV/AIDS morbidity and mortality, are altering reproductive preferences and behavior. Adolescent women are a particularly important sub-population because of their heightened risk of both pregnancy and HIV/AIDS, especially in the South African context. A shift in reproductive behavior in response to HIV/AIDS could significantly alter the pattern of fertility change as well as the course of the epidemic over the next decades. Consequently, this paper will draw on a rich longitudinal data source to explore the impact of HIV/AIDS-related household shocks on the reproductive preferences and early reproductive behavior of adolescent women in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Presented in Session 162: Fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa