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Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



epidemiology, HIV, sexual partners, Namibia


Multiple sexual partnerships are associated with greater risk of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and intimate partner violence. Namibia has an HIV prevalence of 18% and surveys have shown that up to 40% of men in parts of the country have multiple sexual partners; however, no studies have evaluated characteristics associated with this behavior.

We evaluated the relationship between education, occupation, and migration and multiple sexual partnerships among people tested for HIV in Lüderitz, Namibia. Data are taken from a cross-sectional study of 570 men and women conducted in a Voluntary Counseling and Testing Center from September-November 2009. Multinomial logistic regressions adjusted for relevant confounders suggest that employment other than manual labor is associated with a three-fold increase in the odds of having 4-6 partners over the lifetime (OR=3.44 95%CI: 1.29-9.15) and a non-significant two-fold increase in the risk of having 7 or more partners over the lifetime (OR=1.93 95%CI: 0.57-6.57). Stratification by gender shows that among women, employment other than manual labor is associated with almost a five-fold increase in the odds of having 4 or more sexual partners over the lifetime (OR=4.58 95%CI: 1.48-14.23). Women with an education of grade 12 or higher also have increased odds of having 4 or more sexual partners over the lifetime (OR=3.78 95%CI: 1.26-11.36). Results show no significant associations with migration, or among men for any exposure variables. Although further studies are warranted, results suggest that programs for HIV and STI intervention and family planning among women should be aimed at workplaces.


First Advisor

Katherine W. Reeves

Second Advisor

Susan R. Sturgeon

Included in

Epidemiology Commons