Multiple and Concurrent Partnership: A Support Document for Advocacy Actions and Decision Making Process in Mozambique
This 18-page document, published by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (JHU/CCP), examines multiple concurrent partnerships (MCP) in Mozambique, including types and reasons for MCP in general and the Mozambican context, specifically. The report suggests that MCP is a key component of addressing HIV/AIDS, and that there is a need for both greater understanding and more interventions related to the issue.
The report relies on HIV sexual behaviour research, which distinguishes between assortative and disassortative sexual relationships - which means that one should not consider the sexually active population as a whole, but, rather, consider sexual-sub-populations based on, for example, the degree of sexual activity (high vs. low) or the age of individuals.
The study found that multiple and concurrent partnerships are well documented for some categories of the population. They include "young girls having sex with older men" and the opposite category, "men having sex with women the same age and/or younger". Migrant workers were also identified as engaging in MCP. According to the authors, underlying reasons for engaging in MCP are a combination of economic, human, and social factors that are significantly influenced by age and gender.
According to the report, HIV transmission is facilitated by 3 factors: the numbers of multiple/concurrent partners per individual; the percentage of the sexually active population involved in MCP; and the mixing between sub-groups of sexually active individuals (e.g. young women vs. older men). Findings indicate that optimal paths for the virus to spread exist in today's Mozambican community not only within but also between sexually active groups.
The report recommends that MCP interventions consider the following 2 key population groups, focusing on the reasons these population groups cite for engaging in MCP:
- Reasons teenage girls (14-19 years) engage in MCP: to live well and have money; because parents don't accept a boyfriend who has no money; to fulfill capricious needs; because older men have more experience; the hope of marrying a powerful man; and because of physical attraction.
- Reasons adult men (25-40 years) engage in MCP: sex is more pleasurable with young girls; young girls are not as complicated; they do not need a lot of money as they have fewer responsibilities; and being with young girls makes adult men feel more powerful.
The full document is not available online but can be requested from the contact below.
Email from Dennis Larson to Soul Beat Africa on December 5 2008.