Talking about AIDS
This paper explores the significance of social relationships to two important stages in the process of sexual behavioral change in response to increased HIV/AIDS risk in rural Africa: the perceived risk of becoming HIV-infected through unprotected sexual intercourse and the preferred methods of protection either through sexual fidelity, or through condom use. The empirical analyses are based on cross-sectional data from the 'Kenyan Diffusion and Ideational Change Project' (KDICP) which provides information about AIDS-related, ego-centered communication networks of Kenyan men and women. The results show that perceived risks, as well as preferred methods of protection against HIV-infection, depend in general on the prevailing perceptions and favored protective methods within personal communication networks. However, different influential network properties can be found. The risk-perceptions of women are shaped by strong relationships and cohesive network structures. Male's risk perception depends more on the number of risk-perceivers in their communication networks. Heterogeneous relationships of various kinds are influential on women's and men's probability of favoring sexual faithfulness as a method of protection against HIV-infection.
Volume (Year): 1 (2003)
Issue (Month): 13 (September)
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- Jere Behrman & Hans-Peter Kohler & Susan C. Watkins, 2003. "Social Networks, HIV/AIDS and Risk Perceptions," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-007, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
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