Sexual partnership concurrency and age disparities associated with sexually transmitted infection and risk behavior in rural communities in Kenya and Uganda

Int J Infect Dis. 2022 Jul;120:158-167. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2022.04.038. Epub 2022 Apr 25.


Objectives: We examined sex-specific associations of partner age disparity and relationship concurrency with Neisseria gonorrhoeae and/or Chlamydia trachomatis (NG/CT) infection, higher-risk relationships, and condom use as proxies for HIV risk.

Methods: Data were collected in 2016 from 2179 adults in 12 communities in Uganda and Kenya. Logistic regression models examined associations of age disparity and relationship concurrency with NG/CT infection, condom use, and higher-risk (commercial sex and other higher-risk) relationships in the past 6 months, controlling for covariates.

Results: Partner age and relationship concurrency were associated with NG/CT infection in women but not men. Relative to women in age-disparate relationships, women in both age-disparate and age-homogeneous relationships had higher odds of NG/CT infection (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=3.82, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.46-9.98). Among men and women, partnership concurrency was associated with higher-risk partnerships. In addition, relative to those with a single age-homogeneous partner, those with concurrent age-homogeneous partners had higher odds of condom use (men: aOR=2.85, 95% CI: 1.89-4.31; women: aOR=2.99, 95% CI: 1.52-5.89). Concurrent age-disparate partnerships were associated with condom use among men only (aOR=4.02, 95% CI: 2.54-6.37).

Conclusion: Findings underscore the importance of targeted HIV prevention efforts for couples in age-disparate and concurrent relationships.

Keywords: Age disparity; Concurrency; Population mobility; STIs; Sexual risk; Sub-Saharan Africa.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Rural Population
  • Sex Work
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Uganda / epidemiology