Sunday, March 6, 2016

Changing Attitudes & Beliefs Towards a Woman's Right to Protect Against HIV Risk in Malawi

Female empowerment and positive attitudes towards women's rights in sexual relationships have been found to be key elements of successful behaviour-based HIV prevention programmes. However, HIV prevention programmes that do not specifically engage with gender issues may also affect attitudes and beliefs towards women's rights within sexual relationships. 

Using data from the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health we compare measures of female empowerment and changing gender norms between intervention participants and non-participants. 

Results suggest that female intervention participants were more likely than non-participants to believe that: 
  1. women have more rights within sexual relationships in general and 
  2. women have the right to protect themselves against HIV risk (indicating possible increases in female self-efficacy in making HIV prevention decisions). 
Male intervention participants showed no substantial positive change in attitudes towards women's rights. 

These results highlight an important positive effect of HIV prevention programmes on women's attitudes towards their own rights.

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  • 1 School of Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center , Rochester , USA.
  • 2 Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia , USA. 
  •  2016 Apr;18(4):435-52. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2015.1090016. Epub 2015 Oct 27.

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