From Coitus to Concurrency: Sexual Partnership Characteristics and Risk Behaviors of 15–19 Year Old Men Recruited from Urban Venues in Tanzania

September 2013 - Behavioral Prevention

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Yamanis, T.J., Doherty, I.A., Weir, S.S., et al. AIDS and Behavior (2013), Vol. 17, pp. 2405-2415.

Within a project to assess determinants of sexual risk behavior among young men in a high-risk ward of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the authors present findings from a cross-sectional survey of men ages 15-19 (n=663) who socialized at 66 venues known for meeting sexual partners. They found that as male youth transitioned from early to late adolescence, engaging in concurrent sexual partnerships became a normative behavior. Increasing age was correlated with increasing sexual experience and gradually increasing prevalence of concurrency. The authors applied stratified models at ages 15-17 and 18-19. The six-month aggregate prevalence of concurrency was 29 percent; prevalence among sexually experienced youth was 42 percent. Concurrency increased by age: 5 and 44 percent among males age 15 and age 19, respectively. In both age groups, concurrency was associated with having had at least two sexual partners; visiting multiple social venues on the day the survey was conducted; and having met at least one partner at a venue. Alcohol use was frequently reported by older youth. Future studies should assess whether peer pressure to engage in risky sexual behavior is more common for young men than women, as the authors hypothesized. The authors called for further research to understand how venue-based social networks may influence young men's sexual risk behavior.

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