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Sociodemographic drivers of multiple sexual partnerships among women in three rural districts of Tanzania

Authors Exavery A, Kanté AM, Tani K, Hingora A, Phillips JF

Received 31 October 2014

Accepted for publication 10 December 2014

Published 9 April 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 105—113


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Shenghan Lai

Amon Exavery,1 Almamy Malick Kanté,1–3 Kassimu Tani,1 Ahmed Hingora,1 James F Phillips2

1Ifakara Health Institute, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; 2Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA; 3Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland

Background: This study examines prevalence and correlates of multiple sexual partnerships (MSP) among women aged 15+ years in Rufiji, Kilombero, and Ulanga districts of Tanzania.
Materials and methods: Data were collected in a cross-sectional household survey in Rufiji, Kilombero, and Ulanga districts in Tanzania in 2011. From the survey, a total of 2,643 sexually active women ages 15+ years were selected for this analysis. While the chi-square test was used for testing association between MSP and each of the independent variables, logistic regression was used for multivariate analysis.
Results: Number of sexual partners reported ranged from 1 to 7, with 7.8% of the women reporting multiple sexual partners (2+) in the past year. MSP was more likely among both ever married women (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] =3.83, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.40–10.49) and single women (AOR =6.13, 95% CI 2.45–15.34) than currently married women. There was an interaction between marital status and education, whereby MSP was 85% less likely among single women with secondary or higher education compared to married women with no education (AOR =0.15, 95% CI 0.03–0.61). Furthermore, women aged 40+ years were 56% less likely compared to the youngest women (<20 years) to report MSP (AOR =0.44, 95% CI 0.24–0.80). The odds of MSP among Muslim women was 1.56 times as high as that for Christians women (AOR =1.56, 95% CI 1.11–2.21). Ndengereko women were 67% less likely to report MSP compared to Pogoro women (AOR =0.33, 95% CI 0.18–0.59).
Conclusion: Eight percent of the women aged 15+ in Rufiji, Kilombero, and Ulanga districts of Tanzania are engaged in MSP. Encouraging achievement of formal education, especially at secondary level or beyond, may be a viable strategy toward partner reduction among unmarried women. Age, religion, and ethnicity are also important dimensions for partner reduction efforts.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, transmission, Rufiji, Kilombero, Ulanga

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