Exploring concurrent sexual partnerships: new definitions and estimates from a study of youth in urban Kenya

Hongwei Xu, Brown University
Nancy Luke, Brown University
Eliya M. Zulu, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

Concurrent sexual partnerships have been associated with the spread of HIV/AIDS. Previous research suffers from poor measurement and a lack of details on concurrency, including characteristics of concurrent partnerships and unsafe sexual behavior within them. We use unique life history calendar data, which include monthly information on the sexual histories of young people in urban Kenya, to develop a new measure of concurrency, defined as having sex with 2 or more partners in the same month or series of months. Preliminary results show that 17% of respondents had at least one episode of concurrency in the last 10 years. Of those involved in these partnerships, 25% had more than one episode and 15% had sex with 3 or more partners simultaneously. Approximately 45% never used condoms within a concurrent relationship. Further analyses will examine additional characteristics of concurrency that are crucial to the transmission of HIV/AIDS among young people.

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Presented in Session 58: Sexual behaviour