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J Nurs Scholarsh. 2011 Dec;43(4):396-404. doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2011.01418.x. Epub 2011 Oct 17.

Jamaican adolescent girls with older male sexual partners.

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Inova Loudoun Hospital, Leesburg, VA, USA.



The purpose of this study was to describe the relationships between adolescent girls and older male sexual partners in urban Kingston, Jamaica, and identify the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related sexual risks that occur within these relationships.


The study employed a descriptive qualitative design.


Data were collected through focus groups and individual interviews conducted with 43 late adolescent girls (18-21 years old). An age-discordant relationship was defined as a sexual relationship between a Jamaican adolescent female and a man who was 2 or more years older. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.


Age-discordant relationships were common and often began when girls were early adolescents. Both adolescent girls and older men tended to have multiple partners, and transactions of gifts, money, or resources from an older partner were expected and common. Older partners were highly influential in HIV-related risk behaviors.


Age-discordant relationships need to be explicitly addressed in HIV prevention programs for adolescent girls in Jamaica. Further, the implications of gift-giving, informal sexual transactions, and intradyadic power must be incorporated into strategies for reducing HIV-related sexual risk with older partners. Future studies should examine the perspectives of Jamaican men.


This study found that many Jamaican adolescent girls engage in sexual relationships with older men and that the unique characteristics of these relationships may increase girls' risks for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. HIV risk reduction interventions for adolescent girls should address sexual risks associated with older male partners.

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