Economic status, informal exchange, and sexual risk in Kisumu, Kenya

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Title
Economic status, informal exchange, and sexual risk in Kisumu, Kenya
Contributors
Luke, Nancy (creator)
Doi
10.1086/522896
Abstract
Many observers believe that wealthy men play a disproportionate role in the continuing spread of HIV/AIDS infection in sub-Saharan Africa through their involvement in informal exchange relationships, where money and gifts (referred to as “transfers”) are given to a range of nonmarital sexual partners. In this case, wealthier men are riskier sexual partners because they can afford to give larger transfers, which have been found to be negatively associated with condom use. Alternatively, wealthier men might have greater incentives to practice safe sex at later stages of the epidemic, or wealthier men might match with female partners who have particularly strong preferences for condom use. Accordingly, economic status would be positively associated with condom use. I use survey data from urban Kisumu, Kenya, to investigate the various mechanisms through which economic status is associated with sexual risk behavior. My results show that wealth is positively associated with transfers; however, wealth is uncorrelated with condom use. The characteristics of wealthier men’s female partners also do not differ from the characteristics of poorer men’s partners. I conclude that wealthier men have stronger preferences for condom use, which offsets the negative effect of larger transfers that they give to their sexual partners.
Keywords
Condoms
Gender
HIV
Sexual Partners
Poverty
Reproductive health

Citation

Luke, Nancy, "Economic status, informal exchange, and sexual risk in Kisumu, Kenya" Open Access Research Publications at Brown. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://doi.org/10.1086/522896

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