AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 7, pp 2376–2386 | Cite as

Partnership Concurrency and Coital Frequency

  • Lauren GaydoshEmail author
  • Georges Reniers
  • Stéphane Helleringer
Original Paper


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.


Concurrency Coital frequency HIV/AIDS Malawi Kenya 



The LNS received support through the National Institute of Child Health and Development (Grants No. RO1 HD044228 and RO1 HD/MH41713), National Institute on Aging (Grant No. P30 AG12836), the Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Security at the University of Pennsylvania, and the National Institute of Child Health and Development Population Research Infrastructure Program (Grant No. R24 HD-044964), all at the University of Pennsylvania; as well as through National Institute of Child Health and Development (Grant No. R03HD071122) to Columbia University. Partial support for this research was provided by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Grant #5R24HD047879) and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (Grant #2009085286). The paper benefitted greatly from the comments of the working group on HIV and Marriage at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America. We would also like to thank Nancy Luke and Shelley Clark for providing access to the ULYKP data. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the critical role played by the editor and two anonymous reviewers for AIBE in encouraging us to clarify and contextualize our findings.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 22 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren Gaydosh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Georges Reniers
    • 2
  • Stéphane Helleringer
    • 3
  1. 1.Office of Population Research and Department of SociologyPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Population HealthLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK
  3. 3.Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family HealthMailman School of Public Health, Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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