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Risk factors associated with HIV/AIDS infection among itinerant women entrepreneurs in Mbeya Region, Tanzania

Jeremiah Kirway, Mzumbe University

Women in developing countries have low socio-economic status. Micro-enterprise is considered as a means for women to gain economic empowerment. Yet, women risk the danger of contracting HIV/AIDS and other related diseases in this process. The objective of this paper is to investigate risk factors associated with HIV/AIDS infection among itinerant women entrepreneurs (IWEs). Data used are from a cross-sectional study with a sample of 220 IWEs in Mbeya Region Tanzania. Results show that majority of IWEs were below age 40. Business wise majority were in food vending, local brewing, selling clothes & domestic appliances and tailoring. Sexual behaviour wise knowledge towards HIV/AIDS infection is high yet over half of them were involved in high-risk undertakings. Risks were closely associated with levels of education, types of business and sources of capital. Findings call for specific strategies to address risks issues of IWEs associated with HIV/AIDS infection.

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Presented in Poster Session 2