Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Challenging the concurrency hypothesis

via Journal of the International AIDS Society, by Larry Sawers and Eileen Stillwaggon

A new study from the Journal of the International AIDS Society challenges the notion that concurrent sexual partnerships are especially common in sub-Saharan Africa, and that they are the driving force behind the region’s high HIV prevalence.

The authors find that research seeking to establish a statistical correlation between concurrency and HIV prevalence either finds no correlation or has important limitations. They also suggest that mathematical models of the spread of HIV require unrealistic assumptions and ignore evidence of low concurrency in Africa.

They conclude that individuals promoting the concurrency hypothesis have failed to prove that concurrency is highly prevalent in Africa, and that those relationships lead to more rapid spread of HIV, and call on policy makers to focus on better-established drivers of the epidemic.
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