Inter-linkages Between Culture and Gender in HIV transmission in Zambia
Introduction: The current Zambian adult HIVprevalence stand at 14% with a gender bias of more women (16.1%) living with HIV and AIDS compared to men (12.3%). Hence the aim of this review was to gain an in-depth understanding of the linkages between culture, gender and HIV transmission in Zambia and suggest the best method in best-evidence prevention intervention programs to curb HIV infections due to culturally and gender practices.
Methods: A comprehensive desk review analysis of articles obtained from UNDP, UNAIDS, NAC, ZDHS, and CDC links was conducted. Others sources of data from the Internet after using specific search words such as AIDS and Gender using Google search were also used.
Results: Some of the beliefs and practices of specific African cultures have been seen as accelerating the spread of the virus or at least acting as barriers to prevention of HIV such as initiation ceremony or puberty rites where girl children are taught to be submissive to their husbands in marriage and not refuse sex or sexual encounters from their husbands at any time. Research findings have pointed out that initiation ceremonyis one of the channels for transmission of HIV and STIs because through its teachings, it puts women in a weaker position to negotiate for safer sex.
Conclusion: Interventions should aim at changing people's attitudes and beliefs towards HIV, empowering women and educating men. Evidence based prevention intervention programs such as Communal Effectance in HIV Prevention and Sister to Sister could be used.