HIV Status and Union Dissolution in Uganda

Laura E. Porter, Johns Hopkins University
Lingxin Hao, Johns Hopkins University
David Bishai, Johns Hopkins University
Ronald H. Gray, Johns Hopkins University
David Serwadda, Makerere University
Fred Nalugoda, Uganda Virus Research Institute
Fred Makumbi, Uganda Virus Research Institute

Research on AIDS in Africa has documented the HIV epidemic and its demographic and social impact through changes in fertility, mortality and orphanhood. Yet, few studies have explored the extent to which HIV/AIDS contributes to union dissolution. We used longitudinal data from the STD Control for AIDS Prevention Study to examine the effect of HIV status on union dissolution among approximately 6,400 women from Rakai District, Uganda, who were in union at the beginning of the study. Using life tables and multinomial logistic regression, we found a significant association of HIV infection on the likelihood of separation/divorce and widowhood. Other important determinants of union dissolution include religion, sexual behavior, illness, and type of union. To examine the potential endogeneity problem of HIV status, we used an instrumental variable approach, using community-level characteristics as instruments.

Presented in Session 11: Social and Economic Consequences of the AIDS Epidemic