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Sexual partnership concurrency and age disparities associated with sexually transmitted infection and risk behavior in rural communities in Kenya and Uganda



We examined sex-specific associations of partner age disparity and relationship concurrency with Neisseria gonorrhoeae and/or Chlamydia trachomatis (NG/CT) infection, higher-risk relationships, and condom use as proxies for HIV risk.


Data were collected in 2016 from 2179 adults in 12 communities in Uganda and Kenya. Logistic regression models examined associations of age disparity and relationship concurrency with NG/CT infection, condom use, and higher-risk (commercial sex and other higher-risk) relationships in the past 6 months, controlling for covariates.


Partner age and relationship concurrency were associated with NG/CT infection in women but not men. Relative to women in age-disparate relationships, women in both age-disparate and age-homogeneous relationships had higher odds of NG/CT infection (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=3.82, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.46-9.98). Among men and women, partnership concurrency was associated with higher-risk partnerships. In addition, relative to those with a single age-homogeneous partner, those with concurrent age-homogeneous partners had higher odds of condom use (men: aOR=2.85, 95% CI: 1.89-4.31; women: aOR=2.99, 95% CI: 1.52-5.89). Concurrent age-disparate partnerships were associated with condom use among men only (aOR=4.02, 95% CI: 2.54-6.37).


Findings underscore the importance of targeted HIV prevention efforts for couples in age-disparate and concurrent relationships.

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