, Volume 17, Issue 7, pp 2376-2386
Date: 22 May 2013

Partnership Concurrency and Coital Frequency

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Abstract

National HIV prevalence estimates across sub-Saharan Africa range from less than 1 percent to over 25 percent. Recent research proposes several explanations for the observed variation, including prevalence of male circumcision, levels of condom use, presence of other sexually transmitted infections, and practice of multiple concurrent partnerships. However, the importance of partnership concurrency for HIV transmission may depend on how it affects coital frequency with each partner. The coital dilution hypothesis suggests that coital frequency within a partnership declines with the addition of concurrent partners. Using sexual behavior data from rural Malawi and urban Kenya, we investigate the relationship between partnership concurrency and coital frequency, and find partial support for the coital dilution hypothesis. We conclude the paper with a discussion of our findings in light of the current literature on concurrency.