Date of Conferral





Public Health


Peter B. Anderson


Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) living in Sub-Saharan African countries constitute 17% of the population, yet they account for one third of all new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections. To prevent HIV infections among AGYW, it is necessary to understand why they are disproportionally infected. The purpose of the dissertation was to identify risk for HIV among AGYW living in a southern district of Mozambique. The analysis was driven by the Modified Socio Ecological Model and performed using a quantitative dataset collected for the Chokwe Combination Prevention of HIV (N=3354). Logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess whether an association existed between selected characteristics of AGYW (e.g., HIV prevention behaviors, attitudes, experience of gender-based violence), characteristics of their male sexual partners and the HIV status of the AGYW. The result of the analysis showed that being in school, always using condoms, never having experienced sexually transmitted infection, having an HIV-negative partner, having a faithful partner, and having a student as a partner were associated with lower odds of being HIV-positive. Age difference with the sexual partner, experience of gender-based violence, being pregnant in the last year, HIV knowledge, and HIV beliefs were not associated with being HIV-positive. The implications for positive social change from this research include providing policy makers and stakeholders with specific information on vulnerabilities and protectors to HIV of AGYW living in Mozambique and AGYW living in similar contexts. Addressing the specific risks of AGYW to HIV could help prevent new HIV infection among AGYW and could help improve the lives of AGYW and of their families.

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