Concurrent Sexual Partnerships and HIV Infection in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Recent Population-Based Surveys

Simona Bignami, Université de Montréal
Vinod Mishra, United Nations Population Division

In 2006, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the Southern African Development Community indicated that high rates of concurrent sexual partnerships, combined with low rates of male circumcision and infrequent condom use, are major drivers of the AIDS epidemic in southern Africa. Nonetheless, a heated controversy remains about the strength of this association, in mathematical models as well as empirical analyses existing data. We take advantage of the most recent self-reported data on sexual partnerships and HIV biomarker data collected by the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in sub-Saharan Africa to evaluate and compare the prevalence of concurrent sexual partnerships across countries— defining concurrent partnerships as having two or more sexual partners that overlapped in time in the year preceding the survey. We also examine key characteristics of respondents reporting concurrent partnerships in pooled samples for sub-Saharan Africa, and we evaluate the correlates of concurrency and HIV serostatus at the individual and aggregate level.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 115: HIV and STIs: Context Matters