Empowering older women in AIDS prevention: the case of Botswana

  • Sheila Tlou Department of Nursing Education, University of Botswana


This article describes the preliminary results of a peer education programme for AIDS prevention and care among older women in Botswana. A culturally-sensitive programme was developed based on the findings of a qualitative study that revealed older womens knowledge and beliefs about HIV'IAIDS. These findings indicated that older women have been marginalized by public-health messages on AIDS prevention, thus making them vulnerable to HIV infection. Through peer education, older women were empowered to prevent HIV infection to themselves, and within their families and communities. They also learnt about the care of people who have AIDS. The result of the peer education programme indicates that older women, as respected members of the community, are an important resource in HIVIAIDS prevention and control.


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