The Mzantsi Wakho and HEY BABY teams – based at ASRU – gave 14 presentations at the International AIDS Conference 2018 and associated events, held on July 19-27, 2018 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Dr Elona Toska presented early findings on pregnancy among adolescents living with HIV in South Africa from the HEY BABY and Mzantsi Wakho studies, while Lesley Gittings presented research on adolescent and provider views on adherence and defaulting, an initiative led by Dr Rebecca Hodes, ASRU director, in collaboration with the Paediatric Adolescent Treatment for Africa.
South Africa has uniquely high rates of parental absence from children’s lives. Apartheid-era restrictions on population movement and residential arrangements contributed to family fragmentation, particularly when adults – mainly men – migrated to work in cities and on the mines. Despite the removal of legal impediments to permanent urban settlement and family co-residence for Africans, patterns of internal and oscillating labour migration have endured, dual or stretched households continue to link urban and rural nodes, and children have remained less urbanised than adults. Importantly for children, migration rates among prime-age women have increased, alongside falling marriage rates, declining remittances and persistently high unemployment. Households, and women especially, may have to make difficult choices about how to manage the competing demands of child care and income generation.
ASRU Research Associate, Siyanai Zhou, was awarded a certificate of excellence for his presentation during the 13th Population Association of Southern Africa Conference held at Stellenbosch University, 18-20th July 2018. Siyah has just completed his MPhil in Demography at UCT and is currently working with Dr Toska to analyse quantitative Mzantsi Wakho data on sexual and reproductive and TB