Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Supervisor

Dr. Bridget L. Ryan

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Amanda Terry

Joint Supervisor

Abstract

Low autonomy resulting from gender inequalities in women has been identified as a contributing factor to the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on women, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This study explored the association between women’s autonomy and HIV/AIDS knowledge and attitudes in Ethiopia using the 2005 and 2011 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Surveys. The women’s spouses’ perceptions of the women’s autonomy and socio-demographic variables associated with HIV/AIDS knowledge and attitudes identified by the literature were included in the analyses. Multiple linear regression identified positive associations between women’s autonomy (and men’s perception of women’s autonomy), socio-demographic variables including education and mass media exposure and women’s HIV/AIDS knowledge and attitudes.

This study underscores the importance of autonomy, education, and mass media to initiatives addressing the impact of HIV/AIDS on women. High autonomy, in addition to comprehensive knowledge and positive attitudes with respect to HIV/AIDS, are important to HIV/AIDS prevention in women.