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Sexual Risk Taking Among Young Adults in Cape Town: Effects of Expected Health and Income

  • Mintewab Bezabih
  • Andrea Mannberg
  • Martine Visser

    ()

    (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

The wide prevalence of HIV in Africa has long been associated with seemingly irrational levels of sexual risk taking. Hence understanding the rationale behind risky sexual behavior is critical for designing effective prevention policies. This paper empirically assesses links between expectations of future health and income on sexual risk taking. An important contribution of the paper lies in combining a wide range of variables measuring risky sexual behavior such that the maximum information possible is extracted from, and adequate weights are attached to each measure, as opposed to previous studies that are based on individual measures or arbitrary aggregations. The findings indicate that expected income and health and future uncertainty are significant determinants of current patterns of sexual risk taking. From a policy perspective, the results suggest that reducing poverty and improving social insurance as well as reducing the taboo related to talking about HIV, and further investigating the relatively low degree of condom use of women may constitute important issues to be addressed.

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Paper provided by Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town in its series SALDRU Working Papers with number 43.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:43
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  1. d'Hombres, Beatrice & Rocco, Lorenzo & Suhrcke, Marc & McKee, Martin, 2006. "Does social capital determine health? Evidence from eight transition countries," MPRA Paper 1862, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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