Women’s land ownership and risk of HIV infection in Kenya

Muchomba F. M., Wang J.S., Agosta L. M. Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 114, 97-102, 2014; 2014 Women's land ownership and risk of HIV infection in Kenya

Theory predicts that land ownership empowers women to avoid HIV acquisition by reducing their reliance on risky survival sex and enhancing their ability to negotiate safer sex.

Using a sample of 5511 women working in the agricultural sector from the 1998, 2003 and 2008-09 Kenya Demographic and Health Surveys, the authors examined the relationship between: 

  • women’s land ownership
  • participation in transactional sex
  • multiple sex partnerships
  • unprotected sex
  • HIV infection status

Women’s land ownership was associated with: 

  • fewer sexual partners in the past year
  • lower likelihood of engaging in transactional sex
  • indications of reduced survival sex
  • no difference in safer sex negotiation

The findings suggest that reinforcing women’s land rights may reduce reliance on survival sex and serve as a viable structural approach to HIV prevention, particularly for women not in a husband’s household, including unmarried women and female household heads. 

Filter by