Urban Poverty and Sexual Behavior in Five African Cities

Anuja Jayaraman, Macro International Inc.
Francis Nii-Amoo Dodoo, Pennsylvania State University

This paper explores the generalizability of recent assertions about the relationship between urban poverty and sexual behavior across five African metropolises. Slum dwellers constitute a major segment of the urban poor in Africa. We address this issue with comparative data from Accra (Ghana), Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania), Harare (Zimbabwe), Kampala (Uganda), and Nairobi (Kenya). The focus is on two variables that have bearing on the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases; these variables which reflect risky sexual behavior are multiple sexual partnerships and age at first sexual intercourse. Results indicate that women from the slums start sexual intercourse at an earlier age than women from intermediate and non slum households. The multivariate analysis examining the relationship between residence and multiple sexual partners show that slum dwellers are more likely to have sexual partners than both intermediate and non slum dwellers.

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Presented in Poster Session 4