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Promoting vulnerability or resilience to HIV? A qualitative study on polygamy in Maiduguri, Nigeria

Saddiq, Abdullahi, Tolhurst, Rachel ORCID:, Lalloo, David ORCID: and Theobald, Sally ORCID: (2010) 'Promoting vulnerability or resilience to HIV? A qualitative study on polygamy in Maiduguri, Nigeria'. AIDS Care, Vol 22, Issue Issue, pp. 146-151. (Unpublished)

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Literature on the links between polygamy and HIV and AIDS is limited and the findings inconclusive. Literature to date in Sub-Saharan Africa has relied mainly on case-control studies and surveys. This qualitative study aimed to explore different community members' perceptions of the links between the practice of polygamy and vulnerability or resilience to HIV and AIDS in Maiduguri, north-eastern Nigeria. The study used focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with religious and community leaders and different groups of women and men in the community. Participant views on the links between polygamy and HIV were varied. However, one clear emerging theme was that it is not the practice of polygamy per se that shapes vulnerability to HIV and AIDS but the dynamics of sexual relations and practices both within and beyond the marital union - whether monogamous or polygamous. The ways in which these social relationships are negotiated and experienced are in turn shaped by religious traditions, gender roles and relations, education and socio-economic status. Within the religious environment of north-eastern Nigeria, where asymmetrical gender roles and relations and connotations of morality shape experiences of sexual interactions, windows of opportunity to promote behaviour-change strategies to support women and men's resilience to HIV need to be carefully created. Health practitioners and planners should develop partnerships with religious and community leaders and women's groups to construct and deliver behaviour-changes strategies.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The definitive version of this article is available at:
Uncontrolled Keywords: polygamy; HIV; religion; gender; Nigeria
Subjects: W General Medicine. Health Professions > W 50 Medical ethics
WY Nursing > WY 153.5 AIDS/HIV nursing
WA Public Health > WA 20.5 Research (General)
WM Psychiatry > WM 20 Research (General)
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Clinical Group
Groups (2002 - 2012) > International Health Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Philomena Hinds
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2010 11:05
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2020 10:07


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