Article

Sexual behavior, sexually transmitted diseases, male circumcision and risk of HIV infection among women in Nairobi, Kenya

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
AIDS (Impact Factor: 6.56). 02/1994; 8(1):93-9. DOI: 10.1097/00002030-199401000-00014
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To study risk factors for HIV infection among women in Nairobi, Kenya, as the epidemic moves beyond high-risk groups.
A cross-sectional case-control study among women attending two peri-urban family planning clinics.
A total of 4404 women were enrolled after giving written informed consent. Information on risk factors was obtained by interview using a structured questionnaire. Blood was taken for HIV and syphilis testing, and genital specimens for gonorrhea and trichomoniasis screening.
Two hundred and sixteen women (4.9%; 95% confidence interval, 4.3-5.5) were HIV-1-positive. Although risk of HIV was significantly increased among unmarried women and among women with multiple sex partners, most seropositive women were married and reported only a single sex partner in the last year. Women with a history or current evidence of sexually transmitted disease were at significantly increased risk; however, the prevalence of these exposures was low. Women whose husband or usual sex partner was uncircumcised had a threefold increase in risk of HIV, and this risk was present in almost all strata of potential confounding factors. Only 5.2% of women reported ever having used a condom.
These data suggest that, among women who are not in high-risk groups, risk of HIV infection is largely determined by their male partner's behavior and circumcision status. Interventions designed to change male sexual behavior are urgently needed.

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    • "A low population-attributable risk was found and the authors suggested that behaviour change messages directed to women had a low potential for preventing STDs. Also in Nairobi, Hunter et al. (1994) found that among women who are not in the high-risk groups, risk of HIV infection was largely determined by their male partner's behaviour and circumcision status. A study of male factory workers in Harare, Zimbabwe (Mbizvo et al. 1994) established that few married men, who tested positive for HTV infection, used condoms with their wives although they reported using them with other sexual partners. "
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