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Growing up in rural Africa. The living arrangements and socio-economic status of children in rural Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa, with special reference to the impact of adult HIV/AIDS

Victoria Hosegood, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Nuala McGrath, Africa Center for Health and Population Studies
Sian Floyd, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Judith R. Glynn, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Amelia Crampin, Karonga Prevention Study
Milly Marston, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Basia Zaba, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

In sub-Saharan Africa children are growing up in an era of HIV/AIDS. However, the HIV epidemic is only one of many phenomena that influence their lives. Historical and contemporary socio-demographic factors shape both the pattern of the epidemic and the consequences for children and their families. Thus, comparative analyses can aid our understanding of the impact of HIV/AIDS. This study uses a life course approach to describe and compare the experiences of children growing up in rural areas of three countries, Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa. We use longitudinal data from population-based studies to explore the effect of parental HIV and adult illness and mortality on the levels and patterns of orphanhood, children's living arrangements including fostering and caregiving, educational achievement, and household economic status. The data were collected between the 1980s and 2004. We highlight important issues in comparing population-based demographic and social data, for example, inter-site socio-cultural differences.

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Presented in Session 142: The demographic and socio-economic consequences of the HIV/AIDS epidemic