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J Transcult Nurs. 2005 Jan;16(1):23-31.

Culture and context of HIV prevention in rural Zimbabwe: the influence of gender inequality.

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Nursing Faculty, University of New Brunswick, Canada.


After many years of HIV prevention in Zimbabwe, AIDS morbidity and mortality rates continue to rise. This study explores factors facilitating or hindering rural Ndau women's participation in HIV prevention that might influence health promotion programming. Ethnographic methods were used with a sample of 38 females and 10 males. Women's existence is revealed as difficult and oppressive. Their socialization to become workers and mothers occurs within a context of limited voice, subservience, violence, and economic powerlessness, all barriers to HIV prevention. Through analysis of sociocultural and economic factors, it is suggested that cultural beliefs and practices, along with national and international forces, support and sustain gender inequality. For a change in the AIDS crisis, prevention strategies need to be multifaceted, consider people's culture and context, and include gender analysis. It is imperative that nurses working with diverse populations be sensitive to culture while challenging unjust and oppressive systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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