Beyond the gender differential: very young children coping with HIV/ AIDS

Jacqueline Hayden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports on a recent study of HIV/AIDS which investigated the role of gender in the experiences of young children in one region of Namibia. The findings reveal that while gender is reported to shape school-age girls and boys' experiences of being infected or affected by HIV/AIDS in many African nations, gender was not an influential variable in the experiences of very young children coping with HIV/AIDS. Conditions of poor health, deprivation and stigma were equally distributed amongst young girl and boy participants. Connectivity with families and communities was shown to be influenced by living conditions but not differentiated by gender. No gender differences were identified regarding young childrens' sense of hope and vision for the future. The article implies that there may be a particular juncture when gender begins to make a difference in the life of girls and boys - and that this could be an important focus for research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-166
Number of pages14
JournalChildren and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


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