Special Collection 1 - Article 10 | Pages 319–348

Concern Regarding the HIV/AIDS epidemic and Individual Childbearing: Evidence from Rural Malawi

By Claire Marie Noël-Miller

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Date received:20 Jan 2003
Date published:19 Sep 2003
Word count:8001
Keywords:childbearing, fertility, HIV/AIDS, Malawi, self-perception, sub-Saharan Africa


I examine if and how rural Malawians alter their childbearing as a consequence of concern regarding the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The paper is motivated by the debate which opposes two ideas regarding the childbearing effect of high HIV infection rates and heightened AIDS mortality: one, the acceleration of childbearing as individuals find themselves under time pressure to meet their reproductive goals and two, the decrease in childbearing as parents opt to avoid the risk of transmitting the virus.
I find some evidence to support the hypothesis of reduced childbearing in the presence of high levels of worry regarding HIV/AIDS. However, this finding does not seem to apply to younger women, who are perhaps subject to relatively stronger childbearing promoting norms.

Author's Affiliation

Claire Marie Noël-Miller - University of Pennsylvania, United States of America [Email]

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