Friday, June 25, 2010

Reducing Numbers of Sex Partners

via AIDS and Behavior

Multiple and overlapping sexual relationships, commonly referred to as sexual concurrency, are believed by some to account for the rapid spread of HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa. Research shows that concurrent sex partners are prevalent in several populations hit hardest by AIDS including gay communities, commercial sex workers, and some countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Recent research shows sexual concurrency may be playing a role in resurgent HIV infections among gay and bisexual men in North America and emerging HIV epidemics among men who have sex with men in Asia. In addition to epidemiological trends, the potential impact of concurrent sex partners on the spread of HIV transmission is biologically grounded. Sexual concurrency is thought to afford the rapid turnover of HIV when multiple partners are exposed to the virus during the brief and highly infectious period of acute infection. Mathematical models suggest that concurrent sex partners during acute HIV infection may be a driving force in heterosexually transmitted HIV epidemics of southern Africa. Other known and unknown co-factors for HIV transmission also interact with sexual concurrency to propel HIV epidemics. While stimulating great interest, the existing empirical research on the role of sexual concurrency in HIV epidemics is not definitive. In the February 2010 issue of AIDS and Behavior (volume 14, Number 1) Lurie and Rosenthal pointed out that sexual concurrency has not yet been empirically shown to increase HIV transmission beyond what would be expected from multiple sex partnerships that do not overlap in time.

For the full article click here.

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