As part of the Microbicides Development Programme, we conducted formative research to explore gender relations at a site in rural KwaZulu-Natal. We were interested in gender relations and in assessing their implications for emerging female initiated and controlled HIV prevention methods in the form of microbicides. Eleven focus group discussions were conducted with men and women in the community. Participants were asked about decision making about sex, family planning and the use of condoms in heterosexual relationships. Findings suggest that gender relations in the context of HIV are complex. The findings suggest that both men and women feel that the final decision about child-bearing and the use of contraceptives and rests with women since they are the ones who bear the burden of child care. This implies that it is feasible for couples to use women-initiated and controlled methods of HIV prevention.
Ndinda, C.; Uzodike, U.O.; Pool, R.; Chimbwete, C. Gender relations in the context of HIV/AIDS in rural South Africa. AIDS Care (2007) 19 (7) 844-849. [DOI: 10.1080/09540120701203923]