Role of Male Sex Partners in HIV Risk of Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Mozambique


Author(s): Jenifer Chapman, Nena do Nascimento, and Mahua Mandal

Year: 2019

Chapman J, do Nascimento N, Mandal M. Role of male sex partners in HIV risk of adolescent girls and young women in Mozambique. Glob Health Sci Pract. 2019;7(3):435-446.
Role of Male Sex Partners in HIV Risk of Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Mozambique Abstract:

Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) ages 15–24 years are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, particularly in East and Southern Africa. One strategy to reduce HIV among AGYW, proposed through the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe (DREAMS) Initiative, is to prevent and manage HIV among their male sexual partners. To implement this strategy and reach men, programs need information about AGYW's potential sexual partners at the local level.

To support DREAMS programming in Mozambique, we undertook a study to characterize this population of men in 3 districts with ongoing DREAMS programming. In mid-2017 we conducted 15 focus group discussions with AGYW (N=102) and a venue-based intercept survey of men (N=1,140). Male sexual partners of AGYW who took the survey were diverse in age, education level, and socioeconomic status. Older AGYW focus group participants sought partners who could provide for them financially. Multiple sexual partnerships and inconsistent condom use were widely reported, with AGYW emphasizing that gender norms disempowered them from negotiating condom use. Reported condom use varied by AGYW and male-partner demographic characteristics, as well as by their relationship type. Condom use rates were much higher than national and regional estimates. AGYW who were less educated/not-in-school, were pregnant, or single mothers were particularly disempowered in sexual relationships. Less educated men were less likely to use condoms than educated men, and condom use was least likely in marriage.

Study findings underscore the importance of reaching the diversity of male sexual partners of AGYW with HIV services as part of a strategy to reduce HIV risk among AGYW. They also support an enhanced focus on female-controlled HIV prevention methods that do not require negotiation with a male partner and special efforts to reach out-of-school/less educated AGYW, as well as pregnant AGYW and single mothers.