Mobility, Sexual Behavior and the Spread of HIV in Cameroon

Nathalie Lydié, Université de Montréal
Jamie Robinson, Glaxo Wellcome
Benoît Ferry, Centre Francais sur la Population et le Developpement
Évina Akam, Institut De Formation Et De Recherche Demographiques (IFORD)

An extensive literature on HIV risk factors has documented the relationship between mobility and HIV spread in sub-Saharan Africa. However most studies are based on data from the early 1990s and have focused on the effects of return migrants on the spread of HIV into rural areas. Using data collected in Yaoundé in 1997 among 896 men and 1017 women, the study assesses the relation between mobility and HIV in an urban area where the epidemic is mature. The study shows that duration of absence is strongly associated with increased risk of HIV infection among men, married ones in particular, who are engaged in different sexual networks. As for mobile women they are not more infected than non-mobile women despite higher risk behaviors. This suggests that a significant part of HIV infection among non-mobile women is caused by the sexual behavior of their regular partners during travel.

Presented in Session 2: HIV/AIDS Sexual Risk Behavior in Sub-Saharan Africa