The HIV/AIDS Epidemic and its Devastating Consequences on the Lives of Women in Nekemte, East Wellega

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa University


The research has tried to make deep investigations into the consequences of the HW / AIDS epidemic on the lives of women in Nekemte, Ea t Wellega. The study has mainly fo cused on women and tried to explore their coping mechani ms with the disease. The data for the research has been gather d mainly through the field work and all the pertinent anthropological research methods have been applied. Observations of p eople living with the viru s, mainly women, were made at various p laces: in Nekemte Hospital, at OSSA, and at their residential areas. Group discuss ions of the individuals were conducted to analyze I heir reactions. Further, detailed interviews were made with most of the infolmant to know more about their perception of the virus and to comprehend th causes of their HJV contraction. The case of women in our country in this regard can not be an exception to the turmoil in general. Further, the features of HW contraction in the study area shows that the area now stands above all others in its [-[IV contraction rates when compared with the remaining major towns in Oromia. 1 esides, women in the area whether they are married, divorced, widowed or separated are not on the safe side because of the economic, social, political and biological factors under which they li ve. From the analyses of the cases, it has been found out that the virus is serious ly ravaging the area at an alanning rate. The other useful point to be mentioned from the research is the fact thai the fight against the epidemic is at its infancy and that a lot more is needed to edu cate the masses to help them attain behavioral changes in this respect. It has been found out that most of the women who were interviewed and are now living with the virus are engaged in having multiple sexual partners as a means of securing the deteriorating living conditions. Because they live under harsh economic conditions, it has become a common place for them to practice unsafe marnage and remarriages usually on temporary bas is . in these cases, the marnage is accomplished based on little or no intimacy between the couples. Hence, it is obvious that such a marriage collapses sooner or late r. On the other hand, when women and young girls realize that they are already infected with the virus, they are more likely to escape to other areas where they are given little or no attention than their male counterparts. Accordingly, except very few of them, those women who were interviewed and many others who are identified as HIV positive came from other towns and villages in the vicinity. These women and the young girls do not have the intention to vis it their pare nts and relatives back in their villages, or see them in one way or another. Under some ins tances, there are couples who make HIV test on their own, but hide their statuses from their partner. This situation has been found to be one of the most press ing issues for m dical personnel because they are obliged Lo refrain from exposing one's HJV taLu if the patient doe not want to. 0, the fa ct that such couples tend to cheat their (better) half has already proved a real difficulty for the success of the battle against the epidemic in the study area. The research is organized in to six chapters . Chapter one introduce the worlc and gives highlights about the need to study HIV/ AIDS, the purpose for which the research has been conducted and the s ignificance of the research and the methods used in data collection. Chapter two is all about the re view of relevant literature. In chapter three, the general backgrounds of the study area vis -D.-vis its location, climate, culture, language and religions of the p eople in the area are examined. Besides, the various traditional marriage practices in the area ha ue been explored and their implications fo r HIV / AIDS have been analyzed. The place of women in the midst of the AfDS pandemic has been found that women are now number one victims of the virus especially in those countries were the s ocial status of women is generally low. The remaining chapters, five and six, basically deal with the roles of institutions in the fight against the epidemic in the area, and the analyses and findings of the cases. It has been realized that there are f ew government and non governme ntal organizations in the area which deal with the issues of HJV / AID S.



The HIV/AIDS Epidemic