Population sexual behavior and HIV prevalence in Sub-Saharan Africa: Missing links?

Ryosuke Omori, Laith Aburaddad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Patterns of sexual partnering should shape HIV transmission in human populations. The objective of this study was to assess empirical associations between population casual sex behavior and HIV prevalence, and between different measures of casual sex behavior. Methods: An ecological study design was applied to nationally representative data, those of the Demographic and Health Surveys, in 25 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. Spearman rank correlation was used to assess different correlations for males and females and their statistical significance. Results: Correlations between HIV prevalence and means and variances of the number of casual sex partners were positive, but small and statistically insignificant. The majority of correlations across means and variances of the number of casual sex partners were positive, large, and statistically significant. However, all correlations between the means, as well as variances, and the variance of unmarried females were weak and statistically insignificant. Conclusions: Population sexual behavior was not predictive of HIV prevalence across these countries. Nevertheless, the strong correlations across means and variances of sexual behavior suggest that self-reported sexual data are self-consistent and convey valid information content. Unmarried female behavior seemed puzzling, but could be playing an influential role in HIV transmission patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Casual sex
  • Ecological analysis
  • HIV
  • Sexual behavior
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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