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Int J STD AIDS. 2003 Dec;14(12):814-7.

Risk factors for HIV infection among women in Carletonville, South Africa: migration, demography and sexually transmitted diseases.

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  • 1Biostatistics Unit, Medical Research Council, Durban, South Africa.


We investigate the prevalence of, and risk factors for, HIV infection among women in an urban South African setting. A random sample of 834 women was recruited into a community-based cross-sectional study. HIV prevalence was 37.1% with higher prevalence among migrant women (46.0%) than non-migrant women (34.7%), (odds ratio [OR]=1.61, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.11-2.31). The highest HIV prevalence (50.9%) was between ages 26 and 35 years. Having two or more lifetime partners increased the risk of HIV infection (OR=4.88, 95% CI: 3.01-7.89). Migration, age, marital status, alcohol use, syphilis and gonorrhoea were independently associated with HIV infection. Migration increases the risk of HIV infection. Provision of services to treat sexually transmitted diseases and educational empowerment programmes that will promote safer sex among migrant women are urgently needed.

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