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Exploring the potential causes of HIV prevalence among young women in South Africa: a critical literature review

Karin Zakeyo (Department of Dermatology, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK)
Mathew Nyashanu (Health and Allied Professionals, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

ISSN: 2056-4902

Article publication date: 10 June 2021

85

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the potential causes of HIV prevalence among young women in South Africa. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is one of the leading causes of death in sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa (SA) has the largest HIV pandemic in the world with approximately 7.2 million people living with HIV as of 2017. There is a disproportionate incidence of HIV between women and men, particularly affecting young women 15–24 years of age. This paper reviewed 10 articles on the impact of HIV in SA among young women.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 10 articles on HIV in SA were selected for review using academic databases including Library One Search Pro, Google Scholar, the British Medical Journal and Elsevier. The search generated 11,095 articles, which were narrowed down to 10 by the criteria of being specific to gender and age and publication period.

Findings

Five themes were identified from the findings as to the potential causes of HIV prevalence among young women these included age-disparate relationships, social factors and sexual behaviour. Impact of HIV on communities and individuals, gender and patriarchy including poverty and social isolation.

Originality/value

The paper shows the impact of inequalities between men and women leading to HIV infection among young women. It also shows some gaps that require further research with regards to HIV infections among young women.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors sincere thanks goes to the library staff at Nottingham Trent University.

Citation

Zakeyo, K. and Nyashanu, M. (2021), "Exploring the potential causes of HIV prevalence among young women in South Africa: a critical literature review", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-12-2020-0106

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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