Age-gaps in sexual partnerships: seeing beyond ‘sugar daddies’

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We examine for the first time age-mixing in sexual relationships in a population with very high HIV incidence and prevalence in rural South Africa. The highest levels of age assortativity (the pairing of like with like) were casual partnerships reported by men, the lowest levels were spousal relationships reported by women. Given the age–sex distribution of HIV prevalence in this population, interventions to decrease age-gaps in spousal relationships may be effective in reducing HIV incidence.

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