Age-disparate sex and HIV risk for young women from 2002 to 2012 in South Africa.
ABSTRACT: Age-disparate sex has long been considered a factor that increases HIV risk for young women in South Africa. However, recent studies from specific regions in South Africa have found conflicting evidence. Few studies have assessed the association between age-disparate partnerships (those involving an age gap of 5 years or more) and HIV risk at the national level. This study investigates the relationship between age-disparate sex and HIV status among young women aged 15-24 in South Africa.Nationally representative weighted data from the 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2012 South African National HIV Surveys were analysed for young women aged 15-24 years using bivariate analyses and multiple logistic regressions.After conducting multiple logistic regression analyses and controlling for confounders, young women with age-disparate partners had greater odds of being HIV positive in every survey year: 2002 (aOR = 1.74, 95%CI: 0.81-3.76, p = 0.16); 2005 (aOR = 2.11, 95%CI: 1.22-3.66, p < 0.01); 2008 (aOR = 2.02, 95%CI: 1.24-3.29, p < 0.01); 2012 (aOR = 1.53, 95%CI: 0.92-2.54, p < 0.1). The odds of being HIV positive increased for each year increase in their male partner's age in 2002 (aOR = 1.10, 95%CI: 0.98-1.22, p = 0.11), 2005 (aOR = 1.10, 95%CI: 1.03-1.17, p < 0.01), 2008 (aOR = 1.08, 95%CI: 1.01-1.15, p < 0.05), and 2012 (aOR = 1.08, 95%CI: 1.01-1.16, p < 0.05). Findings were statistically significant (p < 0.1) for the years 2005, 2008, and 2012.Our findings suggest that age-disparate sex continues to be a risk factor for young women aged 15-24 in South Africa at a national level. These results may reflect variation in HIV risk at the national level compared to the differing results from recent studies in a demographic surveillance system and trial contexts. In light of recent contradictory study results, further research is required on the relationship between age-disparate sex and HIV for a more nuanced understanding of young women's HIV risk.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Evidence on the role of age-disparate partnerships in high HIV-infection rates among young women in sub-Saharan Africa remains inconclusive. This study examined the HIV-infection risk associated with age-disparate partnerships among 15- to 24-year-old women in a hyperendemic setting in South Africa. METHODS:Face-to-face questionnaire, and laboratory HIV and viral load data were collected during 2014-2015 among a representative sample (15-49 years old) in KwaZulu-Natal. The association between age-disparate partnerships (age difference ?5 years) and HIV status among 15- to 24-year-old women (N = 1459) was assessed using multiple logistic regression analyses. Data from the male sample on all on-going partnerships (N = 1229) involving 15- to 24-year-old women were used to assess whether young women's age-disparate male partners were more likely to have a viral load ?1000 copies per milliliter, a marker of HIV-infection risk. RESULTS:Women reporting an age disparity in any of their 3 most recent partnerships were more likely to test HIV positive compared to women with only age-similar partners [adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.58, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.20 to 2.09, P < 0.01]. Among partnerships men reported with 15- to 24-year-old women, the age-disparate male partners were more likely to be HIV positive and have a viral load ?1000 copies per milliliter (aOR: 2.05, 95% CI: 1.30 to 3.24, P < 0.01) compared with age-similar partners. Results were similar for each category of age disparity: partners 5-9 years older (aOR: 2.01, 95% CI: 1.18 to 3.43, P = 0.010) and those ?10 years older (aOR: 2.17, 95% CI: 1.01-4.66, P = 0.048). CONCLUSIONS:Results indicate that age-disparate partnerships increase young women's HIV risk, although conclusive evidence was not ascertained. Interventions addressing risk from age-disparate sexual partnering, including expanding antiretroviral treatment among older partners, may help to reduce HIV incidence among young women.
Project description:Age-disparate partnerships are hypothesized to increase HIV-risk for young women. However, the evidence base remains mixed. Most studies have focused only on unprotected sex among women in the partnership. Consequently, little is known about other risky behaviours, such as transactional sex, alcohol use, and concurrency, as well as the behaviours of the men who partner with young women. We therefore examined differences in various sexual behaviours of both young women and their male partners by partnership age difference.We used nationally representative data from South Africa (2012) on partnerships reported by 16-24 year old black African women (n = 818) and by black African men in partnerships with 16-24 year old women (n = 985). We compared sexual behaviours in age-disparate partnerships and age-similar partnerships, using multiple logistic regression to control for potential confounders and to assess rural/urban differences.Young women in age-disparate partnerships were more likely to report unprotected sex than young women in similar-aged partnerships (aOR:1.51; p = 0.014; 95%CI:1.09-2.11). Men in partnerships with young women were more likely to report unprotected sex (aOR:1.92; p<0.01; 95%CI:1.31-2.81), transactional sex (aOR:2.73; p<0.01; 95%CI:1.64-4.56), drinking alcohol before sex (aOR:1.60; p = 0.062; 95%CI:0.98-2.61), and concurrency (aOR:1.39; p = 0.097; 95%CI:0.94-2.07) when their partners were five or more years younger. The association between age-disparate partnerships and transactional sex (aOR:4.14; p<0.01; 95%CI: 2.03-8.46) and alcohol use (aOR:2.24; p<0.013; 95%CI:1.20-4.19) was only found in urban areas.Results provide evidence that young women's age-disparate partnerships involve greater sexual risk, particularly through the risky behaviours of their male partners, with the risk amplified for young women in urban areas.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:This study examines the role of age-disparate partnerships on young women's HIV risk by investigating coital frequency and condom use within age-disparate partnerships involving women aged 15 to 24. DESIGN:A community-based, cross-sectional study was conducted. SETTING:Participants were randomly selected using a two-stage random sampling method in uMgungundlovu district, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, between June 2014 and June 2015. PARTICIPANTS:A total of 1306 15-24-year-old women in an ongoing heterosexual partnership were included in the analysis. Participants had to be a resident in the area for 12 months, and able to provide informed consent and speak one of the local languages (Zulu or English). PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES:Sexual frequency was assessed by asking participants how many times they had sex with each partner in the past 12 months. The degree of condomless sex within partnerships was assessed in the survey by asking participants how often they used a condom with their partners. RESULTS:Age-disparate partnerships were associated with a higher order category (once, 2-5, 6-10, 11-20, >20) of coital frequency (adjusted OR (aOR) 1.32, p<0.05, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.71) and with sex on more than 10 occasions (aOR 1.48, p<0.01, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.96) compared with age-similar partnerships. Age-disparate partnerships were also more likely to involve sex on more than 10 occasions with inconsistent condom use (aOR 1.43, p<0.05, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.96) in the previous 12 months. CONCLUSION:The finding that increased sexual activity is positively associated with age-disparate partnerships adds to the evidence that age-disparate partnerships pose greater HIV risk for young women. Our study results indicate that interventions to reduce risky sexual behaviour within age-disparate partnerships remain relevant to reducing the high HIV incidence rates among adolescent girls and young women.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To assess changes and equity in antiretroviral therapy (ART) use in Kenya and South Africa. METHODS:We analysed national population-based household surveys conducted in Kenya and South Africa between 2007 and 2012 for factors associated with lack of ART use among people living with HIV (PLHIV) aged 15-64 years. We considered ART use to be inequitable if significant differences in use were found between groups of PLHIV (e.g. by sex). FINDINGS:ART use among PLHIV increased from 29.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 22.8-35.8) to 42.5% (95%CI: 37.4-47.7) from 2007 to 2012 in Kenya and 17.4% (95%CI: 14.2-20.9) to 30.3% (95%CI: 27.2-33.6) from 2008 to 2012 in South Africa. In 2012, factors independently associated with lack of ART use among adult Kenyan PLHIV were rural residency (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.98, 95%CI: 1.23-3.18), younger age (15-24 years: aOR 4.25, 95%CI: 1.7-10.63, and 25-34 years: aOR 5.16, 95%CI: 2.73-9.74 versus 50-64 years), nondisclosure of HIV status to most recent sex partner (aOR 2.41, 95%CI: 1.27-4.57) and recent recreational drug use (aOR 2.50, 95%CI: 1.09-5.77). Among South African PLHIV in 2012, lack of ART use was significantly associated with younger age (15-24 years: aOR 4.23, 95%CI: 2.56-6.70, and 25-34 years: aOR 2.84, 95%CI: 1.73-4.67, versus 50-64 years), employment status (aOR 1.61, 95%CI: 1.16-2.23 in students versus unemployed), and recent recreational drug use (aOR 4.56, 95%CI: 1.79-11.57). CONCLUSION:Although we found substantial increases in ART use in both countries over time, we identified areas needing improvement including among rural Kenyans, students in South Africa, and among young people and drug users in both countries.
Project description:Sexual liaisons between older men and younger women have been linked to greater risk of HIV acquisition. This study aims to (1) identify psychosocial and behavioral factors associated with age-discordant (partner ?5 years) versus age-concordant partnerships (-1< partner <5) and (2) examine the association between partner age discordance and young South African women's sexual behavior.We used generalized estimating equations to analyze responses from 656 sexually experienced women (aged 13-20 years) from rural Mpumalanga province.Partner age discordance was associated with greater odds of reporting both more frequent sex [adjusted odd ratio (aOR) = 1.77; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.20 to 2.60] and having a partner with concurrent partnerships (aOR = 1.77; 95% CI: 1.22 to 2.57). Age-discordant partnerships were associated with greater odds of casual partnerships (aOR = 1.50; 95% CI: 1.06 to 2.13), having a partner with concurrent partnerships (aOR = 1.71; 95% CI: 1.19 to 2.46), and more frequent intercourse (ie, having sex at least 2 or 3 times per month) (aOR = 2.04; 95% CI: 1.39 to 3.00). They were associated with lower odds of reporting condom use at last sex (aOR = 0.70; 95% CI: 0.50 to 0.98) and always using condoms (aOR = 0.53; 95% CI: 0.32 to 0.88) in age-discordant partnerships.Our findings suggest that a history of age-discordant partnerships, and to a lesser extent having an age-discordant partner, is linked to HIV risk among young South African women; however, the link between partner age discordance and HIV risk may be more strongly related to the characteristics of age-discordant partnerships than to the characteristics of young women who form such partnerships.
Project description:Thailand is one of several countries with a continuing generalized HIV epidemic. We evaluated the risk factors for HIV prevalence among 17-29 year old men conscripted by a random process into the Royal Thai Army (RTA) in 8 cohorts from 2005-2009.A series of case-cohort studies were conducted among the male RTA conscripts who had been tested for HIV seroprevalence after they were inducted. Men who were HIV positive were compared with a systematic random sample (1 in 30-40) of men from the total population of new conscripts. Each subject completed a detailed risk factor questionnaire.A total of 240,039 young Thai men were conscripted into the RTA and were screened for HIV seroprevalence between November 2005 and May 2009. Of 1,208 (0.5%) HIV positive cases, 584 (48.3%) men were enrolled into the study. There were 7,396 men who were enrolled as a comparison group. Among conscripts who had an education lower than a college-level, the independent risk factors for HIV infection were age in years (AOR 1.38, 95% CI 1.28-1.48), a history of sex with another man (AOR 3.73, 95% CI 2.70-5.13), HCV infection (AOR 3.89, 95% CI 2.56-5.90), and a history of sex with a female sex worker (FSW) (AOR 1.35, 95% CI 1.10-1.66). Among conscripts who had a college degree, the independent risk factor for HIV infection was a history of sex with another man (AOR 23.04, 95% CI 10.23-51.90). Numbers of sexual partners increased and the age at first sex, as well as the use of condoms for sex with a FSW decreased in successive cohorts.The HIV seroprevalence among cohorts of 17-29 years old men has remained at about 0.5% overall during 2005-2009. The most significant behavior associated with HIV prevalence was a history of sex with another man. Our data indicate continuing acquisition of HIV among young men in Thailand in recent years, especially among men with a history of same sex behavior.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:There is an urgent need to understand high HIV-infection rates among young women in sub-Saharan Africa. While age-disparate partnerships have been characterised with high-risk sexual behaviours, the mechanisms through which these partnerships may increase HIV-risk are not fully understood. This study assessed the association between age-disparate partnerships and herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2) infection, a factor known to increase HIV-infection risk. METHODS:Cross-sectional face-to-face questionnaire data, and laboratory HSV-2 and HIV antibody data were collected among a representative sample in the 2014/2015 household survey of the HIV Incidence Provincial Surveillance System in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Among 15-24-year-old women who reported having ever had sex (n=1550), the association between age-disparate partnerships (ie, male partner ?5 years older) and HSV-2 antibody status was assessed using multivariable Poisson regression models with robust variance. Analyses were repeated among HIV-negative women. RESULTS:HSV-2 prevalence was 55% among 15-24-year-old women. Women who reported an age-disparate partnership with their most recent partner were more likely to test HSV-2 positive compared with women with age-similar partners (64% vs 51%; adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR):1.19 (95% CI 1.07 to 1.32, p<0.01)). HSV-2 prevalence was also significantly higher among HIV-negative women who reported age-disparate partnerships (51% vs 40 %; aPR:1.25 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.50, p=0.014)). CONCLUSIONS:Results indicate that age-disparate partnerships are associated with a greater risk of HSV-2 among young women. These findings point towards an additional mechanism through which age-disparate partnerships could increase HIV-infection risk. Importantly, by increasing the HSV-2 risk, age-disparate partnerships have the potential to increase the HIV-infection risk within subsequent partnerships, regardless of the partner age-difference in those relationships.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Based on ethnographic investigations and mathematical models, older sexual partners are often considered a major risk factor for HIV for young women in sub-Saharan Africa. Numerous public health campaigns have been conducted to discourage young women from relationships with older men. However, longitudinal evidence relating sex partner age disparity to HIV acquisition in women is limited. METHODS:Using data from a population-based open cohort in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, we studied 15- to 29-year-old women who were HIV seronegative at first interview between January 2003 and June 2012 (n = 2444). We conducted proportional hazards analysis to establish whether the age disparity of women's most recent sexual partner, updated at each surveillance round, was associated with subsequent HIV acquisition. RESULTS:A total of 458 HIV seroconversions occurred over 5913 person-years of follow-up (incidence rate: 7.75 per 100 person-years). Age disparate relationships were common in this cohort; 37.7% of women reported a partner 5 or more years older than themselves. The age disparity of women's partners was not associated with HIV acquisition when measured either continuously [hazard ratio (HR) for 1-year increase in partner's age: 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.97 to 1.03] or categorically (man ?5 years older: HR, 0.98; 95% CI: 0.81 to 1.20; man ?10 years older: HR, 0.98; 95% CI: 0.67 to 1.43). These results were robust to adjustment for known sociodemographic and behavioral HIV risk factors and did not vary significantly by women's age, marital status, education attainment, or household wealth. CONCLUSIONS:HIV incidence in young women was very high in this rural community in KwaZulu-Natal. Partner age disparity did not predict HIV acquistion. Campaigns to reduce age-disparate sexual relationships may not be a cost-effective use of HIV prevention resources in this setting.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Attending school may have a strong preventative association with sexually transmitted infections among young women, but the mechanism for this relationship is unknown. One hypothesis is that students who attend school practice safer sex with fewer partners, establishing safer sexual networks that make them less exposed to infection. SETTING:We used longitudinal data from a randomized controlled trial of young women aged 13-20 years in the Bushbuckridge district, South Africa, to determine whether the percentage of school days attended, school dropout, and grade repetition are associated with having a partner 5 or more years older (age-disparate) and with the number of sexual partners in the previous 12 months. METHODS:Risks of having an age-disparate relationship and number of sexual partners were compared using inverse probability of exposure weighted Poisson regression models. Generalized estimating equations were used to account for repeated measures. RESULTS:Young women who attended fewer school days (<80%) and who dropped out of school were more likely to have an age-disparate relationship (risk difference 9.9%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.9% to 16.0%; risk difference (%) dropout 17.2%, 95% CI: 5.4% to 29.0%) and those who dropped out reported having fewer partners (count difference dropout 0.343, 95% CI: 0.192 to 0.495). Grade repetition was not associated with either behavior. CONCLUSION:Young women who less frequently attend school or who drop out are more likely to have an age-disparate relationship. Young women who drop out have overall more partners. These behaviors may increase the risk of exposure to HIV infection in young women out of school.
Project description:<label>BACKGROUND</label>In South Africa, young women are at disproportionate risk of HIV infection with about 2363 new infections per week in 2015. Proper condom use is one of the most effective HIV/AIDS prevention strategies among sexually active persons. Understanding factors associated with male condom use in this key population group is important to curb the spread of HIV. This study determined practices and predictors of male condom use among sexually active young women in South Africa.<label>METHODS</label>The 2012 National HIV Communication Survey measured the extent of exposure to communication activities for HIV prevention among men and women aged 16-55 years in South Africa. We performed a secondary data analysis on a subset of this survey, focussing on 1031 women aged 16-24 years who reported having had sex in the past 12 months. We determined predictors of male condom use using the unconditional multivariable logistic regression model.<label>RESULTS</label>Of the 1031 young women, 595 (57.8%) reported using a male condom at last sex, 68.4% in women aged 16-19 years and 54.5% in women aged 20-24 years (p <?0.001). Delayed sexual debut [20 years or above] (Adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR] 2.1, 95% CI: 1.2 to 3.7, p =?0.006); being a student (aOR 1.6, 95% CI: 1.2 to 2.3, p =?0.005); and exposure to HIV communication programmes (aOR 3.1, 95% CI: 1.2 to 8.6, p =?0.025) were significantly associated with male condom use at last sex.<label>CONCLUSION</label>Male condom use was a common practice among young women and was associated with delayed sexual debut and exposure to HIV communication programmes. Behavioral interventions and HIV communication programmes should therefore encourage young women to delay initiation of sex and promote usage of male condoms.