Partner reduction and partner faithfulness reduce risk of HIV infection in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Cameroon, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zimbabwe

Vinod Mishra, Macro International Inc.
Rathavuth Hong, Macro International Inc.
Bernard Barrere, Macro International Inc.

We examine patterns of multiple sexual partnerships and lifetime and recent faithfulness among men, women, and cohabiting couples, and assess the association between these behaviors and risk of HIV infection. Data are from nationally-representative surveys in Cameroon, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zimbabwe that included HIV testing of adult men and women, conducted during 2004-2006 using blood specimens analyzed with standard laboratory and quality control procedures. Data are analyzed using binary and multinomial logistic regression after adjusting for potential confounders. Preliminary results indicate that the adjusted odds of being HIV-infected increase monotonically with number of lifetime sexual partners and with decreased level of faithfulness with one’s spousal partner(s), suggesting a “dose-response” relationship. Findings suggest the need to reinforce programs to reduce number of sexual partners and to promote lifetime partner faithfulness by encouraging youth to not have sex until they get married and then limit their sexual activity to their spouse.

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Presented in Poster Session 3