Factors contributing to differences in prevalence o HIV/AIDS in South Africa and Bangladesh
Jeroen van Ginneken, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Politicians in SA stated that poverty is the most important cause of the HIV epidemic. We will determine how important this factor is compared to other factors and will do this through comparison with Bangladesh with low HIV prevalence. The Barnett and Whiteside model is used to identify factors and we use data from surveys (DHS) and economic and anthropological data. Per capita income is in SA 5 times higher than in Bangladesh and 2 times higher in the lowest income quintile. Poverty is one of the causes of the SA epidemic, but there are others that are as or more important. Relevant among these others are in SA (compared to Bangladesh) high prevalence of concurrent partnerships, high level of STIs, low prevalence of male circumcision. Many of these factors are associated with a frequently occurring SA type of family system that is less stable and cohesive than in Bangladesh.