HIV/AIDS and Women with Disabilities in Zimbabwe
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This study focuses on HIV risk factors and organizational programming at the intersection of gender, disability and HIV in Zimbabwe. Women are disproportionately impacted by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, though few studies have investigated how women with disabilities are affected. This study determines their unique vulnerabilities to contracting HIV and articulates their barriers to accessing HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services. Collaborating with two Southern African organizations in three southern Zimbabwean provinces, I interviewed 50 disabled women, 7 disabled men and 44 staff from various AIDS service organizations, community based health and women's organizations, disabled peoples' organizations, clinics and hospitals. AIDS programs are not reaching many people who need services who had pre-existing disabilities or who became disabled as a result of HIV. I argue that more must be done to reach persons with disabilities and to think more inclusively and collaboratively when designing and implementing AIDS programs.