We present multi-method case studies of two Zimbabwean primary schools – one rural and one small-town. The rural school scored higher than the small-town school on measures of child well-being and school attendance by HIV-affected children.
Background: HIV has left many African children caring for sick relatives, orphaned or themselves HIV-positive, often facing immense challenges in the absence of significant support from adults.
Little is known about how HIV impacts directly and indirectly on receiving, or particularly succeeding in, education in sub-Saharan Africa.
There is growing recognition that primary prevention, including behavior change, must be central in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The earlier successes in Thailand and Uganda may not be fully relevant to the severely affected countries of southern Africa.
Previous studies from sub-Saharan Africa have found that orphans experience increased sexual risk compared to non-orphans.
Fewer orphans are enrolled in school than other children but the extent of disadvantage-after allowing for their older average age- is small in most countries.
Levels of orphanhood and patterns of different forms (i.e.: double, paternal and maternal) of orphanhood will change as an HIV epidemic progresses.
HIV is widely regarded as a disease of poverty and ignorance. However, within sub-Saharan Africa, more developed countries and sub-populations appear to have higher levels of HIV prevalence.