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Medical News

Mobility and HIV in Tanzanian Couples: Both Mobile Persons and Their Partners Show Increased Risk

March 2, 2006

The researchers conducted a longitudinal study of 2,800 couples in Kisesa, rural Tanzania, to examine how mobility is related to sexual risk behavior and HIV infection, with special reference to the partners who remain at home in mobile couples. After collecting HIV status, sexual behavior and demographic data, persons were classified as short-term mobile if they had slept outside the household at least once on the night prior to one of the five demographic interviews, and long-term mobile if they were residing elsewhere at least once at the time of a demographic round.

The authors found that long-term mobile men did not report more risk behavior than resident men. Short-term mobile men reported having multiple sex partners in the last year significantly more often. In contrast, long-term mobile women reported having multiple sex partners more often than resident women (6.8 percent vs. 2.4 percent; P=0.001), and had a higher HIV prevalence (7.7 percent vs. 2.7 percent; P=0.02). More sexual risk behavior and higher HIV prevalence were found in couples where men and women were resident and had a long-term mobile partner, compared with people with resident/short-term mobile partners. Men's risk behavior increased more when their wives moved than when they themselves were mobile.

"More sexual risk behavior and an increased risk of HIV infection were seen not only in mobile persons, but also in partners staying behind. Interventions aiming at reducing risk behavior due to mobility should therefore include partners staying behind," the researchers concluded.

Back to other news for March 2, 2006

Adapted from:
02.28.06; Vol. 20; No. 4: P. 601-608; Coleman Kishamawe; Debby C.J. Vissers; Mark Urassa; Raphael Isingo; Gabriel Mwaluko; Gerard J.J.M. Borsboom; Helene A.C.M. Voeten; Basia Zaba; J. Dik F. Habbema; Sake J. de Vlas

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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