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Polygamy: Is it a Killer?

This book can be used to increase awareness among women in polygamy where such is practiced all over the world and health policy makers regarding the transmission of HIV/AIDS. This book is divided into two parts. The first part consists of Chapters 1 to 20. The second part is the note taken in the interviews that I conducted with American-based Nigerian women who live in the United States as citizens or permanent residents. The women expressed their lived experiences of polygamy and their perception of HIV/AIDS while practicing polygamy. In their own words they expressed fear, helplessness, and disgust to polygamy but they submitted that they used coping skills such as hope and prayer to live a life that was carved out for them by their culture. Traditionally, in Nigeria women play a subservient role in relation to men. While a man can practice polygamy by marrying many wives, women cannot marry more than one husband at a time. Although researchers have documented the effects of polygamy on the spread of HIV/AIDS, little is known about the experiences of polygamy by Nigerian women who stopped practicing polygamy by immigrating to the United States without their husbands. It is important to know the experiences of these women as they pertain specifically to the spread of HIV/AIDS so as to prevent the younger generation of women from propagating the disease through polygamy. The women interviewed revealed their basic knowledge of the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS by engaging in polygamy but they needed to comply with the terms of sexual encounters as dictated by their husbands; therefore, they were at risk for HIV/AIDS. Understanding the experiences of women in polygamy may lead to greater understanding of the impact of polygamy on HIV/AIDS and may help to decrease the prevalence of this disease.