More than 70 million people have been infected worldwide with the HIV virus from the start of the epidemic, and since then, nearly 35 million people have died of HIV. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most severely affected area, accounting for nearly 70% of the people living with HIV worldwide. Approximately 8.8% of women and men age 15 to 49 in Malawi are HIV positive. Socio-demographic factors affecting the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Kasungu district in Malawi are currently unknown. This study aimed to determine the main socio-demographic factors affecting HIV/AIDS propagation and its treatment in Kasungu district in central Malawi. A descriptive cross sectional study involving 1260 adult participants (aged 18+) living with HIV at both the Kasungu District Hospital and St. Andrew's Hospital was conducted. HIV was common among non-pregnant females (40.9%) compared to pregnant females, (19.3%). HIV was also more common among non-pregnant females than men (40.9% vs. 39.6%, respectively). In general, HIV was more common among farmers (38.5%) and businessmen (24.5%). The main reason for starting anti retro viral (ARV's) was a low CD4 count, seconded by World Health Organization (WHO) clinical stage 3. Nine out of 11 clients had negative reactions towards their HIV positive serostatus. Seven out of 11 clients had thoughts related to suicide or attempted suicide. About 50% of the surveyed patients revealed that they had experienced discrimination due to their HIV positive status.
Key words: HIV/AIDS, demographic factors, social factors.
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