Unexpected Low Prevalence of HIV Among Fertile Women in Luanda, Angola. Does War Prevent the Spread of HIV?


Strand, R. T., L. Fernandes Dias, S. Bergström, and S. Andersson. 2007. “Unexpected Low Prevalence of HIV Among Fertile Women in Luanda, Angola. Does War Prevent the Spread of HIV?” International Journal of STD & AIDS 18 (7): 467–71. doi:10.1258/095646207781147300.

Authors: R. T. Strand, L. Fernandes Dias, S. Bergström, S. Andersson


We studied HIV prevalence and risk factors for HIV infection among fertile women in Luanda for the purposes of obtaining background data for planning of interventions as well as to look into the association of armed conflicts and HIV prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa. The HIV-1 prevalence was 1.7% in an antenatal care group (n = 517) and 1.9% in a family planning group (n = 518). Socioeconomic and sexual background factors did not significantly differ HIV-positive from HIV-negative women. Data on armed conflict factors were matched with HIV prevalence figures among pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa. The level of armed conflicts was found to be inversely related to HIV prevalence. The low HIV seroprevalence in Luanda is in sharp contrast to the capitals of neighbouring countries. While the spread of HIV may have been hampered by the long armed conflict in the country, it is feared to increase rapidly with the return of soldiers and refugees in a post-war situation. The challenge for preventive actions is urgent. This example may be relevant to other areas with a recent end-of-war situation.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Health, HIV/AIDS, Mental Health, Reproductive Health Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Angola

Year: 2007

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