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Older Persons AIDS Knowledge and Willingness to Provide Care in an Impoverished Nation: Evidence from Cambodia

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionKnodel, John E., and Zachary S. Zimmer. 2006. "Older Persons AIDS Knowledge and Willingness to Provide Care in an Impoverished Nation: Evidence from Cambodia." PSC Research Report No. 06-602. September 2006.

In developing countries older persons are often called upon to be primary caregivers for their children who contract AIDS. Consequently, their understanding of the disease and willingness to provide care is critical for AIDS sufferers. We examine this issue among men and women age 60 and older in Cambodia, a country with pervasive poverty. Data primarily come from the 2004 Survey of Elderly in Cambodia with some comparison with 2000 Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey. Results indicate older women are less knowledgeable about AIDS than reproductive aged women but more likely to state a willingness to provide care. Notably, there is a strong relationship between knowledge and willingness. Moreover, although poverty and low education contribute to poor AIDS knowledge, the association is mediated by mass media exposure. Hence, we conclude that facilitating ownership of radios and televisions in poverty-stricken households may be effective for promoting AIDS understanding and caregiving willingness. This has implications both within Cambodia and globally, especially given a current emphasis on IEC campaigns to help combat the epidemic.

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