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AIDS Behav. 2014 Dec;18(12):2469-76. doi: 10.1007/s10461-014-0828-6.

Partner age differences and concurrency in South Africa: Implications for HIV-infection risk among young women.

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Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7701, South Africa,


Partner-age difference is an HIV-risk factor among young women in Africa, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We used nationally representative data among black South Africans (men: 3,530; women: 3,946) to examine the proportion of women in partnerships involving male partner concurrency by age of female partners and by age-disparate (≥5 years) partnerships. Of all partners reported by men, 35 % of young (16-24) women were in partnerships involving male partner concurrency of 4 weeks or longer during the past 12 months. Young women in age-disparate partnerships were more likely to be in partnerships with men who had other concurrent partners (9 %; OR 1.88 p < 0.01) and more likely to be connected to an older sexual network. Our results suggest that the relationship between male concurrency and age-disparate relationships may increase HIV risk for young women by connecting them to larger and older sexual networks.

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