Africa and AIDS

AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 399-404

First online:

Sexual Partners in a Rural South African Setting1

  • Elias MpofuAffiliated withThe Pennsylvania State UniversityCRC, Department of Counseler Education, Counseling Psychology and Rehabilitation Services, The Pennsylvania State University Email author 
  • , Alan J. FlisherAffiliated withUniversity of Cape Town
  • , Khalipha BilityAffiliated withThe Pennsylvania State University
  • , Hans OnyaAffiliated withUniversity of the North
  • , Carl LombardAffiliated withMedical Research Council of South Africa

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The study investigated sexual behaviors among 1573 rural South Africans in their early and late adolescents and young adults. The participants reported their number of sexual partners and behaviors related to sexual experience, including age of their first sexual experience, use of contraceptives, use of substances, and anal sex. The data from 630 adolescents with sexual experience (males: 362; females: 268) were analyzed to test three sequential models to predict the number of sexual partners from student characteristics (i.e., demographics, use of substances, sexual behaviors). Teenagers with early sexual experience and a history of substance-use tended to have multiple sexual partners, confirming the need for targeted HIV prevention interventions for young people in South Africa.


sexual partners teenagers rural Africa