Publications Summary

Document Type
Working Papers
Publication Topic(s)
HIV/AIDS, Wealth/Socioeconomics
Recommended Citation
Silas, Joel. 2013. Poverty and Risky Sexual Behaviors: Evidence from Tanzania. DHS Working Papers No. 88. Calverton, Maryland, USA: ICF International.
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Publication Date
February 2013
Publication ID


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Background: This paper investigates the influence of socioeconomic status on specific HIV/AIDS knowledge and the relationship between poverty and risky sexual behaviour in Tanzania. Poverty is one of the key factors that influence exposure of both men and women to the risk of contracting HIV. Poorer men and women are more likely than wealthier men and women to be exposed to HIV infection because they engage in higher-risk sexual behaviour. Methods: Analysis involved the use of data from the 2010 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). Data analysis involved univariate analysis for dependant and independent variables, bivariate analysis, and thereafter multivariate logistic analysis for generating the odds ratio and confidence intervals (CIs) for each predictor. Results: We found that education, wealth, mobility, employment, and media exposure have a strong association with knowledge that a healthy-looking person can have HIV/AIDS. Poverty influences higher-risk sexual behavi our for both men and women—defined here as sex with a non-marital, non-cohabiting partner. Poverty and lack of education among men and women are associated with lower rates of condom use. Results also show that poorer men are more likely than richer men to report paying for sex. Conclusion: Poverty, lack of education, low mobility, and earlier sexual debut are among the major factors associated with risky sexual behaviour. More efforts on poverty reduction, more investment in education, and better facilitation of easy access to media need to be undertaken in order to reduce the vulnerability of poor people to contracting HIV/AIDS.


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