Economic Resources and HIV Preventive Behaviors among School-Enrolled Young Women in Rural South Africa (HPTN 068)

April 2017 - Structural Prevention

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Jennings, L., Pettifor, A., Hamilton, E., et al. AIDS and Behavior (March 2017), 21(3): 665–677, doi:10.1007/s10461-016-1435-5.

This study examined associations between individual economic resources and HIV preventive behaviors among rural South African women who were enrolled in school. The authors used baseline data from the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 068 study to examine links between resources and delayed sexual debut, along with six HIV prevention behaviors, among 2,533 young women aged 13–20 years. Age-adjusted results showed that among all participants, employment significantly increased the likelihood of ever having sex. Food sufficiency and lack of indebtedness, by contrast, significantly decreased the likelihood of sexual experience. Among sexually experienced women, paid work was significantly linked to HIV preventive practices in terms of selection of sexual partners and periodic abstinence. Women who worked for pay, had money to spend on themselves, or had a bank account were significantly more likely to use three or more HIV prevention strategies than women who lacked these resources.  For example, women who had a bank account were more likely to use condoms, and those with money to spend on themselves were more likely to have fewer sexual partners, discuss HIV testing with partners, and discuss condom use. Economic hardship was positively associated with ever having sex, but not with sexually protective behaviors. The authors concluded that maximizing women's individual economic resources may complement future prevention initiatives.

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