Exploring the Relationship Between Food Insecurity, Gender Roles and HIV/AIDS Among Tonga Carers of Disabled Children of Binga in Zimbabwe
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionSexuality & Culture. 2019, 23 (4), 1131-1146. 10.1007/s12119-019-09610-w
Many people are reluctant to access voluntary counselling and testing services for fear of stigma and the implications of death often associated with a positive HIV diagnosis. This study however noted how Tonga females residing in Binga, one of Zimbabwe’s poorest and most food insecure districts, were eager for an HIV positive result in order to secure food handouts from Non-Governmental Organisations. Using a conceptual framework developed by Weiser and colleagues for understanding the bidirectional links between food insecurity and HIV/AIDS linkages, this paper explored the relationship between food insecurity, gender roles and HIV/ AIDS. Qualitative in-depth interviews, participant observation and focus group discussions were conducted with 53 caregivers and four healthcare personnel. Data were analysed using content analysis. The fndings show the interrelationship between food insecurity, gender roles and HIV/AIDS entwined in a vicious cycle that heightens vulnerability to and worsens the severity of each condition. The fndings from this study can help in informing policy interventions geared towards HIV/ AIDS, gender inequality and food insecurity.