Women's participation on HIV/AIDS issues: A case of Misisi Compound Lusaka District

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Kanyamuna, Beatrice
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Urban poor women play key roles in the development of the health sector especially in issues of HIV/AIDS. Meanwhile, Zambian women have for a long time been marginalized in this sector. Women are marginalized in the sense that access to health and education facilities is not as easy for them as it is in the case of their male counterparts. Therefore, one tends to wonder whether women really play a key role in the health sector. Is their potential being realized? HIV/AIDS has reached alarming levels in all corners of life. It is now infecting people in all age-groups but the most infected are women, (GRZ, 2002). Hence the study's general objective was to investigate women's participation in HIV/AIDS issues. The specific objectives were: to find out if women in Misisi compound had any knowledge on HIV/AIDS; the methods that they use to prevent themselves from being infected with HIV; whether HIV/AIDS patients and orphans are taken care by women in Misisi compound; and if these women do discuss HIV/AIDS issues with their families. Out of 7,000 households found in Misisi Compound, 40 were sampled at random. The interval sampling method was used to get a sample of 40 respondents. Among other things, this study has revealed that women in Misisi Compound have the knowledge about HIV/AIDS and how to prevent it, though not all of them use the known methods to prevent themselves from being infected. Some women are involved in taking care of HIV/AIDS orphans and patients. There are also organizations that deal with issues of HIV/AIDS in terms of treatment and care to infected persons. In view of the above findings, recommendations made are that there is need to empower women education wise and economically for them not to engage themselves in sexual activities in exchange for money to sustain their livelihoods. Gender roles should be explained properly to the people and women should be sensitized very much on what is right for them.
AIDS(Disease)-Lusaka, Zambia , Women's Health Services , HIV Infections