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Concern Regarding the HIV/AIDS epidemic and Individual Childbearing

Author(s): Noël-Miller Claire Marie

Journal: Demographic Research
ISSN 1435-9871

Volume: Special collection 1;
Start page: 10;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: Africa - South of the Sahara | AIDS/HIV | childbearing | fertility

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.
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