HIV Prevalence and Orphan Household Distribution in a Rural Malawi District

Peter C. Fleming, University of Pennsylvania
Alexander Weinreb, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Orphan population growth has generated considerable interest among researchers, leading to progress in identifying and resolving problems related to the measurement of orphans. This emerging literature lacks information related to the distribution of orphans. We cannot say, in any systematic way, how orphans are fostered, by whom, under what circumstances, with which siblings, and at what age. We draw on a household survey—including geocodes, data on respondent's HIV status, orphan rosters maintained by villages, and qualitative interviews. We explore issues related to the care and distribution of orphans, the prevalence and distribution of orphans and HIV, and orphan prevalence by variance in household material composition, as well as age and gender of head of household. We conclude by considering a number of methodological issues that arise from the analysis, focusing in particular on survey designs that could improve the identification and reporting of orphans and their residential arrangements.

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Presented in Session 44: The Future of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic