Factors that make women vulnerable to HIV/AIDS

Mokwena, Malebo Sophie (2011-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Background: Globally the percentage of women living with HIV is high. They constitute 48% of people living with HIV. The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of specific factors known to make women vulnerable to HIV/AIDS infection. Objective: The specific factors investigated were cultural beliefs, economic dependence and sexual abuse and their affect (if any) on women in Bela-Bela (Warmbaths) in the Limpopo province of South Africa. The population of 30 women who attend HIV/AIDS support groups in the area was targeted. Twenty respondents were asked to complete questionnaires. A convenience sampling method was used. Research Design: A descriptive research design was used, with data collected through questionnaires. The questionnaire was structured in English and for those who did not understand the language; the questions were explained in their own language. Data was collected on six occasions. The number of participants interviewed per session varied as it depended on the availability of participants on those days. Results: Though the sample used was small which makes it is difficult to draw definite conclusions, the results revealed that women in the area are vulnerable to HIV because of factors such as cultural beliefs (in particular the value of marriage and children), economic dependence and sexual abuse. Conclusion and Recommendation: Findings in this study indicate that unemployment may put women in unfavourable economic position and force them into vulnerable behaviour such as having unsafe sex and sex for money. Findings further revealed that the value of children is put in high regard by the respondents. Having children is seen as a way of proving to the community that they are fertile. This may put women at risk of HIV as they are engaging in unprotected sex. The results show that many women are still exposed to forced sex. There is a need for further research in this regard.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Agtergrond: Die aantal vroue wat wêreldwyd MIV onderlede het, beloop’n geskatte 48% van alle mense wat met die siekte saamleef. Hierdie studie ondersoek spesifieke faktore wat bekend daarvoor is om vroue kwesbaar te maak vir die virus. Doelstelling: Die spesifieke faktore wat ondersoek word is kulturele oortuigings, ekonomiese afhanklikheid en seksuele misbruik en die invloed daarvan (indien enigsins) onder vroue van Bela Bela in die Limpopo Provinsie van Suid Afrika. ‘n Groep van 30 vroue wat MIV/Vigs onderlede het en aan ondersteuningsgroepe in die area behoort, is geteiken vir die studie. Twintig respondente het vraelyste ingevul. Navorsingsontwerp: ‘n Beskrywende navorsingontwerp is gebruik, met data wat versamel is deur middel van vraelyste. Die vraelyste was in Engels en vir diegene wat nie die taal verstaan het nie, is dit in hul eie taal verduidelik. Data is op ses geleenthede bymekaar gemaak. Die getal deelnemers wat deelgeneem het per sessie het afgehang van die beskikbaarheid van deelnemers op die verskillende dae. Uitslae: Alhoewel die steekproef klein was wat dit bemoeilik het om defnitiewe afleidings te maak, het die uitslae gewys dat vroue in die area kwesbaar is vir MIV as gevolg van die spesifieke faktore wat ondersoek is, veral kulturele oortuigings (spesifiek oor die huwelik en geboorte). Gevolgtrekkings en Aanbevelings: Resultate in die studie het gewys dat onstabiele ekonomiese omstandighede soos werkloosheid vroue in ‘n ongunstige posisie plaas en hulle moontlik dwing om onbeskermde seks of seks vir geld te hê. Die bevindinge het ook onthul dat om kinders te hê hooggeag word deur die deelnemers in die studie aangesien dit gesien word as ‘n simbool van vrugbaarheid. Dit beteken dus hulle het onbeskermde seks en moontlike blootstelling aan MIV. Die uitslae wys verder dat baie vroue nog blootgestel word aan seks wat op hul afgedwing word. Daar is ‘n behoefte vir verdere navorsing in hierdie verband.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/17860
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