Demographic and socioeconomic patterns of HIV/AIDS prevalence in Africa
Kathleen Beegle, World Bank Group
Damien de Walque, World Bank Group
Musonda Rosemary Sunkutu, World Bank Group
Michael Gboun, UNAIDS
Understanding the demographic and socioeconomic patterns of prevalence and incidence of HIV/AIDS in Africa is crucial for developing programs and policies to combat HIV/AIDS. This paper looks critically at the methods and analytical challenges to studying the links between socioeconomic and demographic status and HIV/AIDS. Some misconceptions about the HIV/AIDS epidemic are discussed and empirical evidence from the existing body of work is presented. For example, in Zambia, the epidemic is still feminized and urbanized but also affecting rural settings. HIV prevalence is positively correlated with employment and education. Over 90% of new infections are coming from stable and discordant partners. There is a reduction in fertility as well as visible changes in the population pyramid. The human resource crisis has affected negatively on delivery of services to social sectors. The impact of AIDS is visibly affecting the family and community and poses a major constraint to national development.