Poverty, sexual behaviour, gender and HIV infection among young black men and women in Cape Town, South Africa

  • Nicoli Nattrass
  • Brendan Maughan-Brown
  • Jeremy Seekings
  • Alan Whiteside

Abstract

This article contributes methodologically and substantively to the debate over the importance of poverty, sexual behaviour and circumcision in relation to HIV infection, using panel data on young black men and women in Cape Town, South Africa. Methodological challenges included problems of endogeneity and blunt indicator variables, especially for the measurement of sexual behaviour. Noting these difficulties, we found that the importance of socioeconomic and sexual-behavioural factors differed between men and women. While we found a clear association between the number of years of sexual activity and HIV status among both men and women, we found that past participation in a concurrent sexual partnership increased the odds of HIV infection for men but not women. Women, but not men, who made the transition from school to tertiary education (our key indicator of socioeconomic status) were less likely to be HIV-positive than those who made the transition from school to unemployment. Both poverty and sexual behaviour matter to individuals’ HIV risk, but in gendered ways.

Keywords:Cape Area Panel Study, circumcision, endogeneity, HIV/AIDS, panel data, prevalence, sex differentials, socioeconomic factors, surveys

African Journal of AIDS Research 2012, 11(4): 307–317

Author Biographies

Nicoli Nattrass
Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR), University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701, Cape Town, South Africa
Brendan Maughan-Brown
University of Cape Town, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, Rondebosch 7701, Cape Town, South Africa
Jeremy Seekings
Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR), University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701, Cape Town, South Africa
Alan Whiteside
Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD), University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa
Published
2013-01-11
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1608-5906
print ISSN: 1727-9445