Transactional sex and risk for HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Joyce Wamoyi, Kirsten Stoebenau, Natalia Bobrova, Tanya Abramsky, Charlotte Watts Journal of the International AIDS Society, 2016; JIAS, Volume 19, No.1

Young women aged 15 to 24 years in sub-Saharan Africa continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV. A growing number of studies have suggested that the practice of transactional sex may in part explain women’s heightened risk, but evidence on the association between transactional sex and HIV has not yet been synthesised. This research set out to systematically review studies that assess the relationship between transactional sex and HIV among men and women in sub-Saharan Africa.

The findings show that transactional sex is associated with HIV among women, whereas findings for men were inconclusive. There remains a need for better measurement of the practice of transactional sex and additional longitudinal studies to establish the causal pathways between transactional sex and HIV.

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