Potential impact of adjustment policies on vulnerability of women and children to HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa

Roberto De Vogli, Gretchen L. Birbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper evaluates the potential impact of adjustment policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank on the vulnerability of women and children to HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. A conceptual framework, composed of five different pathways of causation, is used for the evaluation. These five pathways connect changes at the macro level (e.g. removal of food subsidies) with effects at the meso (e.g. higher food prices) and micro levels (e.g. exposure of women and children to commercial sex) that influence the vulnerability of women and children to HIV/AIDS. Published literature on adjustment policies and socioeconomic determinants of HIV/AIDS among women and children in sub-Saharan Africa was reviewed to explore the cause-effect relationships included in the theoretical framework. Evidence suggests that adjustment policies may inadvertently produce conditions facilitating the exposure of women and children to HIV/AIDS. Complex research designs are needed to further investigate this relationship. A shift in emphasis from an individual approach to a socioeconomic approach in the study of HIV infection among women and children in the developing world is suggested. Given the potential for adjustment policies to exacerbate the AIDS pandemic among women and children, a careful examination of the effects of these policies on maternal and child welfare is urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-120
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Health, Population and Nutrition
Volume23
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • Child
  • HIV
  • Impact studies
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Structural adjustment policies
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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