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2015-09-29 | Peer Reviewed

Multiple and Concurrent Sex Partnerships and Social Norms: Young Adults’ Sexual Relationships in the Metropolitan Communities of Cape Town, South Africa

Tibesigwa, Byela and Martine Visser. 2015. “Multiple and Concurrent Sex Partnerships and Social Norms: Young Adults’ Sexual Relationships in the Metropolitan Communities of Cape Town, South Africa.” Sexuality Research and Social Policy : 1-16.
Download reference Doi:10.1007/s13178-015-0200-2

Even though antiretroviral treatment is becoming more efficient and available, new HIV infections still occur, and this is particularly evident in the sub-Saharan Africa region. Heterosexual intercourse is still the main mode of HIV transmission in the region, and multiple and concurrent sex partners are arguably crucial for the spread of the epidemic.

It is therefore problematic that sexual risk-taking, in terms of multiple and concurrent sex partners, persists in spite of HIV awareness and knowledge. This study examines the role of social norms on multiple and concurrent sex partnerships using longitudinal data of young adults residing in the metropolitan communities of Cape Town in South Africa. Overall, our results show that the social norms related to multiple and concurrent sex partners, in the community, have a positive and significant influence on young adults’ choice of sex partners. This effect appears to be stronger amongst male young adults, than female young adults.