Bypassing the ‘rapid-clearance-in-males-buffer’: A fourth mechanism to explain how concurrency enhances STI spread

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Abstract

A number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) persist for a considerably shorter period in the male urethra than the vagina. If the gap between sequential partnerships is longer than the duration of STI colonization in males, then this would protect future female partners from this STI in a setting of serial monogamy. If, however, males have more than one partner at a time (concurrency), then this would enable the STI to bypass this gap/buffer. We therefore propose bypassing the rapid-clearance-in-males-buffer as a fourth mechanism, whereby concurrency could enhance the spread of STIs.

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