Property rights violations as a structural driver of women’s HIV risk

Shari L. Dworkin, Shelly Grabe, Tiffany Lu, Abbey Hatcher, Zachary Kwena, Elizabeth Bukusi & Esther Mwaura-Muiru Archive of Sexual Behaviour, 2012; Published online 22 Nov Download publication

Access to and control over assets can minimize women’s HIV risk. However, little is known about the processes through which property rights violations increase the sexual transmission of HIV.

This paper is based on an in-depth qualitative study conducted in Nyanza and Western Provinces, Kenya. It illustrates the social, economic and cultural factors through which a loss of property rights was perceived to influence primary and secondary prevention of HIV. These included:

  • loss of income, livelihood and shelter
  • migration to slums, markets, or beaches where the exchange of sex for food, money, shelter, clothing, or other goods was common
  • cultural practices such as wife inheritance.

The paper includes recommendations on the development of property ownership as a structural HIV prevention and treatment intervention.

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