African Journal of AIDS Research

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Ecological association between HIV and concurrency point-prevalence in South Africa’s ethnic groups

Chris Kenyon


HIV prevalence between different ethnic groups within South Africa exhibits considerable variation. Numerous authors believe that elevated sexual partner concurrency rates are important in the spread of HIV. Few studies have, however, investigated if differential concurrency rates could explain differential HIV spread within ethnic groups in South Africa. This ecological analysis, explores how much of the variation in HIV prevalence by ethnic group is explained by differential concurrency rates. Using a nationally representative survey (the South African National HIV Prevalence, HIV Incidence, Behaviour and Communication Survey, 2005) the HIV prevalence in each of eight major ethnic groups was calculated. Linear regression analysis was used to assess the association between an ethnic group’s HIV prevalence and the point-prevalence of concurrency. Results showed that HIV prevalence rates varied considerably between South Africa’s ethnic groups. This applied to both different racial groups and to different ethnic groups within the black group. The point-prevalence of concurrency by ethnic group was strongly associated with HIV prevalence (R2 = 0.83; p = 0.001). Tackling the key drivers of high HIV transmission in this population may benefit from more emphasis on partner reduction interventions.

Keywords: condom use, migration, intergenerational sex, sex networks

African Journal of AIDS Research 2013, 12(2): 79–84
AJOL African Journals Online