This study was designed to investigate the pathways that lead to HIV exposure, based on Malawi Demographic Health Survey data (2010). It examines the factors that correlate to gender violence in Malawi, including cultural attitudes towards violence, spousal violence factors, and HIV risk factors. Structural equation modeling (SEM) identifies associations among these constructs. A perfect model fit was achieved to build a simultaneous model that includes attitudes towards violence, violence factors, and HIV risk (GFI = .998). Education attainment (.039) and number of partners (.120) had a weaker association with HIV risk than condom use (.418) and HIV testing (.412). We hypothesized that gender attitudes and incidents of violence would be related to greater risks for HIV infection among women. SEM affirmed a robust association between attitudes towards violence and how women in Malawi perceive gender violence. We conclude that policy and practice design should acknowledge the impact of cultural, educational, and familial characteristics on the populations in order to achieve robust change to reduce HIV transmissions especially among women in Malawi.
Attitudes HIV/AIDS Women Culture and sexuality Malawi