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Exchange and Condom Use in Informal Sexual Relationships in Urban Kenya

  • Luke, Nancy
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    This article investigates whether a market for unsafe sexual activity exists among nonmarital, noncommercial sexual relationships in a high HIV/AIDS environment. The exchange of money for sex without a condom is well known within commercial sexual partnerships, but it is unclear from the previous evidence whether markets can emerge among noncommercial relationships as well. I use data on nonmarital sexual partnerships and transfers from Kisumu, Kenya, to investigate this question. I define and measure transfers as material items given by a male to his female sexual partner, including money and nonmonetary items, such as gifts, meals, and rent. I find a strong negative relationship between the level of transfers and condom use after controlling for male fixed effects and other important female and partnership characteristics. I also find that nonmonetary transfers have the same relationship with condom use as monetary transfers. Furthermore, I test the assumption that adolescent girls are particularly disadvantaged within informal partnerships, where men can offer remarkably small amounts of money or gifts in exchange for sex without a condom. Contrary to this popular assumption, the results reveal that the trade-off between transfers and condom use does not differ between partnerships involving adolescent girls and adult females.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/497011
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    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

    Volume (Year): 54 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 2 (January)
    Pages: 319-48

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:y:2006:v:54:i:2:p:319-48
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

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    1. Rao, Vijayendra & Gupta, Indrani & Lokshin, Michael & Jana, Smarajit, 2003. "Sex workers and the cost of safe sex: the compensating differential for condom use among Calcutta prostitutes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 585-603, August.
    2. Ulin, Priscilla R., 1992. "African women and AIDS: Negotiating behavioral change," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 63-73, January.
    3. Wojcicki, Janet Maia & Malala, Josephine, 2001. "Condom use, power and HIV/AIDS risk: sex-workers bargain for survival in Hillbrow/Joubert Park/Berea, Johannesburg," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 99-121, July.
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