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“Who knows more, and why?” Explaining socioeconomic-related inequality in knowledge about HIV in Malawi
Authors: Gowokani Chijere Chirwa
Source: Scientific African, 7: e00213; DOI: 10.1016/j.sciaf.2019.e00213
Topic(s): HIV/AIDS
Country: Africa
Published: MAR 2020
Abstract: Proper knowledge about HIV is essential in preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS. However, in Malawi, knowledge possession disparities regarding HIV continue to exist despite the government's efforts to tackle the problem. Against this background, the aim of this paper is to explain-through decomposition of the concentration index, the existing socioeconomic inequality regarding HIV knowledge in Malawi. In addition the study examine the determinants of HIV-related knowledge. The paper uses the 2004, 2010 and 2016 Malawi Demographic Health Surveys. Findings show that wealth status and education are the primary determinants of having HIV knowledge. In terms of inequality, the concentration indices (0.125, in 2004; 0.167 in 2010, and 0.158 in 2016) are positive and significant at p < 0.01, suggesting that HIV knowledge is concentrated among the wealthier. Decomposition analysis indicates that wealth and education status account for an aggregate of 50% of wealth-related inequality in possessing comprehensive knowledge of HIV. The policy implication is that there is a need to intensify programmes that improve wealth status, as well as education if possession of comprehensive knowledge about HIV is to improve among Malawi's poor.