Factors influencing the vulnerability of women to the risk of HIV-infection in rural villages in North West Province, South Africa
In Africa, south of the Sahara, the HIV epidemic continues to be a threat to health, economic and social development. Women in this region bear the brunt of the epidemic than men. It is reported that women usually get infected with HIV ten years earlier than men of the same age group. Although there are biomedical interventions developed to address the scourge of HIV among women in South Africa, there is still research that needs to be done to understand the social, behavioural and structural factors that aggravate the risk of HIV-infection among women in this region. This particular study found that there are a number of personal, proximal and distal factors that influence the vulnerability of women to HIV-infection in rural villages in North West province, South Africa. These factors are influenced by the social context of the place or space where these women live. In this regard, the study propounds that the social context of rural women should be taken into account when developing and implementing HIV interventions in these impoverished and under-resourced communities.
Keywords: Women, Rural women, HIV vulnerability, HIV-infection, HIV risk, AIDS, Rural villages, South Africa