Widowhood, remarriage and migration during the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Uganda

Health Transit Rev. 1997;7 Suppl:125-44.


Recently the levels of widowhood have increased in countries of sub-Saharan Africa that are afflicted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This paper reviews the cultures of several societies in Uganda in relation to the treatment of widows. Using a data set based on a sample of 1797 households covering east, south and western Uganda, the study finds higher proportions of widows than widowers. Over half of widowers compared to one quarter of widows remarry. Reasons for remarriages of widowers and widows are discussed. While younger widows migrated from their late spouses' homes more than the older ones, the pattern of the widowers shows that those in age 20-34 migrated most. Deeper analysis indicates that widowed people who moved away from their deceased spouses' homes did so for reasons other than the death of their spouses. The widowers were more likely to move than the widows and the unhealthy ones migrated more than the healthy ones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Culture*
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / ethnology
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Uganda / epidemiology
  • Widowhood*