This article contributes methodologically and substantively to the debate over the importance of poverty, sexual behaviour and circumcision in relation to HIV infection, using panel data on young black men and women in Cape Town, South Africa. Methodological challenges included problems
of endogeneity and blunt indicator variables, especially for the measurement of sexual behaviour. Noting these difficulties, we found that the importance of socioeconomic and sexual-behavioural factors differed between men and women. While we found a clear association between the number of
years of sexual activity and HIV status among both men and women, we found that past participation in a concurrent sexual partnership increased the odds of HIV infection for men but not women. Women, but not men, who made the transition from school to tertiary education (our key indicator
of socioeconomic status) were less likely to be HIV-positive than those who made the transition from school to unemployment. Both poverty and sexual behaviour matter to individuals’ HIV risk, but in gendered ways.
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Cape Area Panel Study;
Document Type: Research Article
Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR),University of Cape Town, Private BagRondebosch 7701,Cape Town, South Africa
Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit,University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701,Cape Town, South Africa
Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD),University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Private Bag X54001Durban,4000, South Africa
Publication date: 2012-12-01
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