The discourse on the relationship between literacy and HIV is dominated by the belief that illiteracy is one of the causes of HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, the gender disparity in literacy rates means that women illiterates belong to the high risk groups. Comparing the literacy rate of the ten countries with double digit HIV prevalence rates seems to disprove this hypothesis as seven of these countries have estimated literacy rates of at least 79%. In contrast, if one looks at the countries with the lowest literacy rates and compares them with their HIV prevalence rate, it could be concluded that lower literacy rates is translated to lower HIV prevalence rates. Moreover, if one adds the Gender Parity Literacy Index, it could even be argued that equal access to literacy means a higher probability of getting the HIV/AIDS.
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