Gender Inequality and HIV-1 Infection among Women in Moshi, Tanzania

Zhihong Sa, University of Maryland
Ulla M. Larsen, University of Maryland

This study examined the relationship between gender inequality and women’s HIV risk using a population-based survey of 1418 women aged 20 to 44 in Moshi, Tanzania. Gender inequality was measured by coerced first intercourse, intimate partner violence, couple’s age difference and partner’s financial contribution to children. After adjustment for sexual risk behaviors and background characteristics, women had significantly increased risk of HIV infection if they had coerced first intercourse before age 18 years (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.12-3.95), their partners were at least 10 years older (2.47, 1.45-4.19), or their partners made low financial contributions to children (1.79, 1.11-2.90). Intimate partner violence was not associated with women’s HIV infection. This study provided further evidence that sexual coercion towards young women and women’s subordinate status increase their HIV risks. Thus, addressing gender inequality and promoting behavioral changes of men should be given higher priority in HIV interventions.

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Presented in Session 159: Health Consequences of Domestic Violence