Explaining Gender Differences in the Risk of Prevalent HIV Infection: Analyses of the Tanzania and Côte d’Ivoire AIS

Sara Hertog, United Nations

This paper seeks to identify the sources of gender disparities in risk of prevalent HIV infection through analysis of AIDS Indicator Surveys (AIS) for Côte d’Ivoire, where infected women outnumber infected men by more than two to one, and Tanzania, where HIV prevalence among women is only slightly higher than that among men. A conceptual framework that unifies principles of infectious disease epidemiology with empirical literature on risk factors for sexual transmission of HIV is used to elaborate hypotheses as to potential sources of gender disparities in HIV risk. Multilevel logistic regression is conducted to pinpoint the individual and contextual factors that yield disparate risks of HIV infection among men and women. Results indicate that, in addition to biological explanations, gender-specific risks associated with sexual behavior determine gender differences in HIV risk, and the relevant risk factors vary across the two populations with differing degrees of gender-disparity in risk.

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Presented in Session 172: Gender, Neigbors, Family and School