Despite the severity of the AIDS epidemic and the centrality of pregnancy and fertility to life in sub-Saharan Africa, little is known about how AIDS and its consequences alter reproductive goals and strategies. The Young Adult Families and AIDS Study (YAFAS) will collect timely and innovative data to investigate how young adults transitioning to parenthood amid a generalized epidemic simultaneously navigate the dual goals of avoiding HIV/AIDS and healthy childbearing. We situate the study in rural Malawi because counseling and testing for HIV, which are likely to influence reproduction, are just becoming available in the rural areas. An integrated longitudinal data set will include: Data from 2000 young women who will be tested for pregnancy and interviewed at quarterly intervals over a period of three years;linked data to their male sexual partners;biomarkers for HIV for both men and women, with the testing randomized in order to assess the causal influence of learning HIV serostatus;and from traditional cultural authorities to illuminate the role of local context in shaping reproductive desires. Using these new data, we address questions critical for individual, couple, national and international efforts to achieve health childbearing in a high-fertility and high HIV-prevalence setting.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-W (20))
Program Officer
Newcomer, Susan
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Pennsylvania State University
Organized Research Units
University Park
United States
Zip Code
Conroy, Amy A (2015) The influence of relationship power dynamics on HIV testing in rural Malawi. J Sex Res 52:347-59
Smith-Greenaway, Emily (2015) Are literacy skills associated with young adults' health in Africa? Evidence from Malawi. Soc Sci Med 127:124-33
Conroy, Amy A (2014) Marital infidelity and intimate partner violence in rural Malawi: a dyadic investigation. Arch Sex Behav 43:1303-14
Conroy, Amy A (2014) 'It means there is doubt in the house': perceptions and experiences of HIV testing in rural Malawi. Cult Health Sex 16:397-411
Bachan, Lauren K (2014) Anticipatory child fostering and household economic security in Malawi. Demogr Res 30:1157-1188
Conroy, Amy A (2014) Gender, power, and intimate partner violence: a study on couples from rural Malawi. J Interpers Violence 29:866-88
Trinitapoli, Jenny; Yeatman, Sara; Fledderjohann, Jasmine (2014) Sibling support and the educational prospects of young adults in Malawi. Demogr Res 30:547-578
Conroy, Amy A; Chilungo, Abdallah (2014) Male victims of sexual violence in rural Malawi: the overlooked association with HIV infection. AIDS Care 26:1576-80
Yeatman, Sara; Dovel, Kathryn; Conroy, Amy et al. (2013) HIV treatment optimism and its predictors among young adults in southern Malawi. AIDS Care 25:1018-25
Yeatman, Sara; Sennott, Christie; Culpepper, Steven (2013) Young women's dynamic family size preferences in the context of transitioning fertility. Demography 50:1715-37

Showing the most recent 10 out of 14 publications