Exchange and Risky Behavior in Sexual Relationships in Urban Kenya

Nancy Luke, Brown University

There is emerging interest in the role of economic exchange, or transaction, between sexual partners in the continuing HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. Women, particularly adolescents, are believed to be vulnerable within exchange relationships, as men can induce them to accept unsafe sexual activities with small amounts of money or gifts. This paper examines these assumptions using a unique data set on male non-marital sexual partnerships and exchange from urban Kenya. Our analysis uses fixed effects to identify the causal effect of various types of exchange on condom use and if the effect of exchange is pronounced in partnerships involving adolescent girls. We find a strong negative relationship between the amount of exchange and condom use, which is upheld in non-commercial partnerships and for non-monetary exchanges. In addition, men are no less likely to use condoms in exchange partnerships with adolescent girls than with adult females.

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Presented in Session 84: Social Determinants of HIV Dynamics