Among married couples, an individual’s perceived and actual risks of being infected with HIV are closely intertwined with his or her spouse’s. As the HIV/AIDS epidemic spreads to the general population, a large and increasing proportion of HIV transmissions occur within marriage (Bongaarts 1996). Indeed, discordant couples (i.e. couples where only one partner is infected with HIV) represent the majority of HIV-infected couples in sub-Saharan Africa (de Walque 2007), and a large proportion of new HIV infections in this region occurs within discordant couples in longterm stable partnerships (Dunkle et al. 2008; Hudson 1996;)
Robinson et al. 1999). Although both husbands and wives are at risk of contracting HIV from their spouse, cultural, social and biological gender inequalities render women particularly vulnerable to transmission from their husbands (Gilbert and Walker 2002; Heise and Elias 1995). First, gender-based norms in which it is more permissible for men than for women to have extramarital sexual partners make it more likely that men will bring HIV into the union after marriage. According to Asunta Wagura, Executive Director Kenya Network of Women Living with AIDS, There are several reasons married women and girls are at increased risk of HIV/AIDS, including; They often are powerless in decisions to have sex or use a condom, Women who are married and faithful to their husbands are at risk of HIV infection because their husband move on with other women who may be infected with HIV. In Uganda, the highest rates of increase of HIV transmission occur among married women. Though marriage may appear to offer sexual health benefits for women, research in Kenya and Zambia revealed that this is not always the case. Married women are particularly at risk if their husbands have extramarital affairs or inject drugs and neglect to use condoms.( Asunta Wagura,2008) More than 50 million married girls are 17 years of age or younger. Because married girls more...
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