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International News

WHO Bulletin Examines Correlation Between Socioeconomic Status, HIV Prevalence in Africa

July 7, 2010

"A new study has challenged widely held assumptions about income level in relation to HIV, finding that neither wealth nor poverty are reliable predictors of HIV infection in Africa," PlusNews/IRIN reports. The study, published in the July issue of the WHO Bulletin, examines the correlation between socioeconomic status and HIV prevalence in Africa. Justin Parkhurst of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine analyzed HIV and socioeconomic data from 12 sub-Saharan African countries, as documented in demographic and health surveys (7/6).  "Neither poverty nor wealth per se drives the HIV epidemic. Being poor or being wealthy may be associated with sets of behaviours that are either protective or risky for HIV infection," depending on the country, according to the WHO Bulletin (Parkhurst, July 2010).

"Parkhurst's findings have implications for one-size-fits-all prevention campaigns that do not take into account the complex and changing ways in which wealth, education level and gender can affect risk-taking behaviours," PlusNews/IRIN writes. "We need to educate people [about HIV] in a way that's relevant to their context," Parkhurst said. "It's about letting local actors to find out what's going to work best" (7/6).

Back to other news for July 2010

This information was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery. © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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