A Cost–Benefit Approach
Chapter 19: Sex and HIV II: The Role of Concurrency
The last chapter dealt mainly with individual behavior, such as the number of partners and whether the partner was their spouse or a casual relationship. The transmission rate analyzed was per partnership. The more partners that individuals have, especially the more casual partnerships, the higher the HIV prevalence rate. Now we look at sexual behavior more in a social setting and recognize that the sexual behavior and history of a partner may be just as (or even more) important than the number of partners. Moreover, partnerships can interact and so some partnerships are more pivotal than others in spreading the disease throughout the population. In this chapter we deal with the timing of partnerships and in the next examine how some partnerships are more strategic than others. The information in Table 18.1 that Oster (2005) used in her analysis showed that the number of casual partners for men and women, whether they were married or not, were higher in the United States than in the 14 countries in SSA. This result is consistent with a number of other studies that find that Africans do not have more sex partners than elsewhere. For example, Caraël (1995) found that men in Thailand and Rio de Janeiro were more likely to report five or more casual sex partners in the previous years than men in Tanzania, Kenya, Lesotho or Lusaka in Zambia, and very few women in these African countries had five or more partners. So it is not the number of...
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