TitleProtective factors that contribute to improved school attendance for children that are HIV/AIDS affected in Zambia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsHenning, MJ, Betancourt, TS, Khanna, SK
JournalInternational Journal of Health Promotion and Education
Pagination318 - 334
Date Published11/2016

Africa remains the epicenter of the global HIV and AIDS epidemic. At present, UNAIDS estimates that nearly 17 million children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS (Joint United Nations Programmed on HIV/AIDS, 2010). In Zambia, where estimated HIV prevalence is 13.5% as of 2009, mortality and protracted illness from AIDS have created a generation of children that are HIV/AIDS affected often cared for by chronically ill caregivers. A direct association exists between the increased prevalence of HIV/AIDS affected children and increases in child labor, child prostitution, sexual exploitation, and juvenile delinquency. Methods: This research sought to identify positive protective factors for HIV/AIDS affected children that contribute to improved school attendance. Quantitative and qualitative results were used to triangulate findings on protective factors that would support children and their school attendance. The 2009 National Zambia Sexual Behavior Survey was analyzed using data collected from a nationally representative sample of interviews of households with 475 HIV/AIDS affected children compared to 1176 households without children made vulnerable due to HIV/AIDS. Qualitative data were collected in focus groups from 6 different schools with a high proportion of HIV/AIDS affected children (N = 34 total participants; 16 males, 18 females). Results: Our data analysis indicates that number of school-age children in a home is related to school attendance. For HIV/AIDS affected households there is a significant association between schooling support and school attendance (r = 0.12, p < .01). Finally, a negative association between children that are HIV/AIDS affected and step-parents appear to negatively influence school attendance (going to school). Our findings suggest that future culturally and contextually specific interventions to further bolster school attendance. Finally, we discuss the importance of a focus on education settings as a sustainable community-based approach to support vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS.

Short TitleInternational Journal of Health Promotion and Education