A Framework of Sexual Partnerships: Risks and Implications for HIV Prevention in Africa
Article first published online: 26 FEB 2009
© 2009 The Population Council, Inc.
Studies in Family Planning
Volume 40, Issue 1, pages 63–70, March 2009
How to Cite
Green, E. C., Mah, T. L., Ruark, A. and Hearst, N. (2009), A Framework of Sexual Partnerships: Risks and Implications for HIV Prevention in Africa. Studies in Family Planning, 40: 63–70. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2009.00187.x
- Issue published online: 26 FEB 2009
- Article first published online: 26 FEB 2009
The global diversity of HIV epidemics can be explained in part by types and patterns of sexual partnerships. We offer a typology of sexual partnerships that corresponds to varying levels of HIV-transmission risk to help guide thinking about appropriate behavioral interventions, particularly in the epidemics of sub-Saharan Africa. Declines in HIV prevalence have been associated with reductions in numbers of sex partners, whereas many other prevention strategies have not been demonstrated to reduce HIV transmission at a population level. We suggest a reorientation of current prevention efforts, based on the epidemiology of sexually transmitted HIV epidemics and trends in sexual behavior change. Concurrent sexual partnerships are likely to play a large role in transmission dynamics in the generalized epidemics of East and Southern Africa, and should be addressed through improved behavior-change interventions.