Separation of Spouses Due to Travel and Living Apart Raises HIV Risk in Tanzanian Couples
October 17, 2008
Persons whose partners are absent may be more vulnerable to risky sexual behavior and thus to HIV, the authors wrote. Such absences may be due to traveling or to living apart (e.g., for work purposes, or in polygamous marriages). In the current study, the researchers investigated the degree to which partner absence leads to more risky sexual behavior in Tanzanian couples.
The study compared 95 men and 85 women living apart with 283 men and 331 women living together. At the time of the interviews, all subjects were married and either living together or apart. The subjects were grouped into four categories: coresidents being either nonmobile or mobile, and people living apart either frequently or infrequently seeing each other.
Most subjects living apart were polygamously married. Men living apart did not report more extramarital sex than coresident men. Among coresident men, 35 percent of mobile men reported extramarital sex, compared to 15 percent of nonmobile men. Women living apart reported extramarital sex more often than coresidents (14 percent vs. 7 percent), which was mainly due to women living apart who saw their husbands infrequently.
"Risky sexual behavior occurs more often in mobile coresident men, and in women living apart infrequently seeing their spouses," the authors concluded. "These groups are relatively easy to identify and need extra attention in HIV prevention campaigns."
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
08.01.2008; Vol. 35; No. 8: P. 714-720; Debby C.J. Vissers, M.Sc.; Helene A.C.M. Voeten, Ph.D.; Mark Urassa, M.Sc.; Raphael Isingo, M.Sc.; Milalu Ndege; Yusufu Kumogola; Gabriel Mwaluko, Ph.D.; Basia Zaba, M.Sc.; Sake J. de Vlas, Ph.D.; J. Dik F. Habbema, Ph.D.
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.