Epidemiology and Infection

Risk factors of sexually transmitted infections among migrant and non-migrant sexual partnerships from rural South Africa

K. ZUMA a1a2c1, M. N. LURIE a3, B. G. WILLIAMS a4, D. MKAYA-MWAMBURI a5, G. P. GARNETT a6 and A. W. STURM a5
a1 Department of Statistics, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
a2 Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa
a3 Department of Community Health, Brown University School of Medicine and Miriam Hospital, Providence RI, USA
a4 16 rue de la Cononniere, Geneva, Switzerland
a5 Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa
a6 Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK

Article author query
zuma k   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
lurie mn   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
williams bg   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
mkaya-mwamburi d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
garnett gp   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
sturm aw   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


In October 1998, cohorts of circular migrant men and their non-migrant sexual partners, and non-migrant men and their non-migrant sexual partners from rural South Africa were recruited and followed-up every 4 months until October 2001. At each visit, information on socio-demographic, sexual behaviour, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV was collected. In total, 553 individuals aged between 18 and 69 years were recruited. A man and his sexual partner(s) form a sexual partnership. Migration status, age, marital status, age at sexual debut, recent sexual partners and HIV status were found to be important determinants of STI. The risk of STI varies (σ2=1·45, P<0·001) significantly across sexual partnerships even after controlling for important determinants. The variance implies substantial correlation (0·59) between members of the same sexual partnership. Ignoring this correlation leads to incorrect inference. Migration contributes significantly to the spread of STIs. Community interventions of HIV/STI should target co-transmitter sexual partnerships rather than high-risk individuals.

(Accepted November 29 2004)

c1 Human Sciences Research Council, Private Bag 41, Pretoria 0001, South Africa. (Email: kzuma@hsrc.ac.za)