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

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


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Continental Ancestry Group
  • Age Factors
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexual Partners*
  • South Africa / epidemiology
  • Time Factors