Estimating the Impact of Establishing Family Housing on the Annual Risk of HIV Infection in South African Mining Communities
Gebrekristos, H.T., Resch, S.C., Zuma, K., et al. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (2005), 32(6), pp. 333–40.
This modeling study examines the potential of family housing to address HIV risk stemming from men’s migration from rural areas to mining communities in South Africa. The aim is to change patterns of sexual mixing by shifting miners’ sex acts from commercial sex workers to their own rural partners. The authors postulate overall lessened HIV infection for negative couples, but a small increased risk to the rural partner. Among the acknowledged limitations are the assumptions that all non-rural partners of miners are infected at rates in the range of commercial sex workers, that all sex acts are heterosexual and vaginal, that miners have only one rural partner, and that sex with rural partners would in fact substitute rather than supplement sex with commercial sex workers. While urging the consideration of this framework, the authors note that family housing may have a number of important unintended consequences, some of which could reverse any positive gains in terms of reducing HIV transmission.