Co-occurring psychosocial problems and HIV risk among women attending drinking venues in a South African township: A syndemic approach
Background: In South Africa, women comprise the majority of HIV infections. Syndemics, or co-occurring epidemics and risk factors, have been applied in understanding HIV risk among marginalized groups. Purpose: The purposes of this study are to apply the syndemic framework to examine psychosocial problems that co-occur among women attending drinking venues in South Africa and to test how the co-occurrence of these problems may exacerbate risk for HIV infection. Method: Five hundred sixty women from a Cape Town township provided data on multiple psychosocial problems, including food insufficiency, depression, abuse experiences, problem drinking, and sexual behaviors. Results: Bivariate associations among the syndemic factors showed a high degree of co-occurrence and regression analyses showed an additive effect of psychosocial problems on HIV risk behaviors. Conclusions: These results demonstrate the utility of a syndemic framework to understand co-occurring psychosocial problems among women in South Africa. HIV prevention interventions should consider the compounding effects of psychosocial problems among women. © 2012 The Society of Behavioral Medicine.
Pitpitan, EV; Kalichman, SC; Eaton, LA; Cain, D; Sikkema, KJ; Watt, MH; Skinner, D; Pieterse, D
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