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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:Women and HIV/AIDS in the Kingdom of Swaziland: Culture and Risks
Authors:Mathunjwa, Tengetile R.
Gary, Faye A.
Periodical:Journal of the National Black Nurses' Association (ISSN 0885-6028)
Geographic term:Swaziland - Eswatini
Subjects:Health, Nutrition, and Medicine
Cultural Roles
Abstract:In Swaziland, a polygamous society in Southern Africa, the prevalence of the human immune virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is continuing to proliferate at an alarming rate. In 1992 the prevalence rate was 3.9%. However in 12 years, by 2004, the prevalence rate had reached 42.6%. This article explores some of the traditional cultural practices and experiences that increase Swazi women's vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. The traditional cultural practices fall into four categories: (1) socialization and the roles of women, (2) the minority status of women, (3) the practice of a dowry, and (4) the wife as an inheritance. The women's experiences include the Swazi men's beliefs in the virginity cure myth, the women's extreme poverty, and the Swazi men who are migrant workers in neighboring states. This article concludes with recommendations for public policy and for future research within the context of Swazi culture.