IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Wealth Status and Risky Sexual Behaviour in Ghana and Kenya

  • Kofi Awusabo-Asare

    (Department of Geography and Tourism, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana)

  • Samuel K. Annim

    (Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana)

Background: Emerging evidence seems to suggest that there is some association between individual socioeconomic status and sexual risk-taking behaviour in sub-Saharan Africa. A number of broad associations have emerged, among them, positive, neutral and negative relationships between wealth status and sexual risk-taking behaviour. Reduction in the number of sex partners as a behavioural change has been advocated as an important tool in HIV prevention, and affecting such a change requires an understanding of some of the factors that can influence social behaviour, interactions and activities of subpopulations. Objectives: To further explore the determinants of sexual risk-taking behaviour (individuals having multiple sex partners), especially the effects that variations in household wealth status, gender and different subpopulation groups have on this behaviour. Methods: The relationship between wealth status and sexual risk-taking behaviour in the context of HIV/AIDS infection in Ghana and Kenya was assessed using raw data from the 2003 Demographic and Health Surveys of each country. Wealth quintiles were used as a proxy for economic status, while non-marital and non-cohabiting sexual partnerships were considered indicators for risky sexual behaviour. Results: For females, there appears to be an increasing probability of sexual risk taking by wealth status in Kenya, while, in Ghana, an inverted J-shaped relationship is shown between wealth status and sexual risk taking. When controlled for other variables, the relationship between wealth status and sexual risk-taking behaviour disappears for females in the two countries. For males, there is no clearly discernable pattern between wealth status and sexual risk-taking behaviour in Ghana, while there is a general trend towards increasing sexual risk-taking behaviour by wealth status in Kenya. For Ghana, the highest probabilities are among the highest and the middle wealth quintiles; in Kenya, high probabilities were found for the two highest wealth quintiles. Controlling for the effects of other factors, the pattern for Ghana is further blurred (not statistically significant), but the relationship continues to show in the case of Kenya, and is significant for the highest quintile. In general, for both Ghana and Kenya, men in the highest wealth quintile were found to be more likely to have multiple sexual partners than the other groups. Conclusion: The changing phases of HIV infection indicate that it is no longer poverty that drives the epidemic. Rather, it is wealth and a number of other sociodemographic factors that explain sexual risk-taking behaviour that puts people at risk. Understanding local specific factors that predispose individuals towards sexual risk taking could help to expand the range of information and services needed to combat the HIV pandemic. DOI: 10.2165/0148365-200806010-00003

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Pay per view

File URL:
Download Restriction: Pay per view

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Springer Healthcare | Adis in its journal Applied Health Economics and Health Policy.

Volume (Year): 6 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 27-39

in new window

Handle: RePEc:wkh:aheahp:v:6:y:2008:i:1:p:27-39
Contact details of provider: Web page:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wkh:aheahp:v:6:y:2008:i:1:p:27-39. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dave Dustin)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.