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Table 2 Characteristics of sexual behaviour of women by different age-groups (n = 569)

From: Sexual behaviour of women in rural South Africa: a descriptive study

Characteristic <25 years (n = 155) 25-34 years (n = 210) >34 years (n = 204) p-value
General characteristics
 HIV infected 20 (17) 74 (47) 84 (52) <0.001
 Hormonal contraceptives 63 (41) 86 (41) 75 (37) 0.66
 Intravaginal cleansing 34 (22) 47 (23) 54 (27) 0.50
 Vaginal scarring practice 6 (3.9) 15 (7.1) 14 (6.9) 0.38
 Visits bars* 33 (22) 26 (12) 17 (8.4) 0.001
 Alcohol use [before sexual intercourse] 18 (12) 26 (12) 12 (5.9) 0.061
Sexual practice in past 6 months
 Currently has a steady partner 146 (95) 199 (96) 192 (95) 0.92
 Currently has occasional partner(s) 16 (10) 26 (13) 21 (10) 0.73
 Condom use during last sex act 57 (37) 73 (35) 76 (37) 0.86
 Receptive anal intercourse 9 (6.0) 10 (5.0) 7 (3.7) 0.60
 Practices fellatio^ 28 (19) 34 (17) 14 (7.3) 0.003
   HIV + 3 (16) 8 (11) 5 (6.6) 0.18
   HIV - 21 (23) 19 (24) 6 (8) 0.021
Sexual contact in past 12 months
 Concurrent sexual partnersa 25 (16) 45 (22) 17 (8.4) 0.001
   HIV + 2 (11) 17 (24) 23 (28) 0.18
   HIV - 14 (15) 16 (19) 3 (3.8) 0.048
 Sexual partner > 10 years olderb 27 (18) 40 (19) 59 (29) 0.014
   HIV + 2 (11) 17 (24) 23 (28) 0.14
   HIV - 23 (24) 16 (19) 29 (37) 0.069
 Sex with multiple partners 4 (2.6) 6 (2.9) 3 (1.5) 0.61
 Experienced coercion 34 (22) 52 (25) 50 (25) 0.77
 Experienced force 7 (4.5) 5 (2.4) 4 (2.0) 0.33
 Sex for money or material benefits 2 (1.3) 8 (3.8) 2 (1.0) 0.096
 Commercial sex work 1 (0.6) 0 (0) 1 (0.5) 0.54
About steady sexual partner (n = 538)
 Knows that partner has concurrent partners † 21 (14) 52 (26) 61 (32) 0.001
 Circumcised partnerc 136 (95) 169 (87) 161 (87) 0.030
   HIV + 17 (90) 55 (82) 60 (80) 0.38
   HIV - 86 (98) 71 (93) 68 (91) 0.054
 Knows partner’s HIV-status 47 (33) 53 (27) 74 (39) 0.035
   HIV + 5 (26) 19 (27) 43 (55) 0.001
   HIV - 32 (36) 26 (34) 27 (36) 0.94
  1. Data are provided as numbers (%) and median (range)
  2. Some significant variables are further analysed and stratified for HIV infection
  3. aOlder women reported significantly less often to have concurrent sexual partners than women of 25–34 years (p < 0.001) and 18–24 years (p < 0.05)
  4. bPartner >10y older was reported more often by older women (>34 years) compared to younger women (p < 0.05)
  5. cYoung women (<25 years) reported more often a circumcised partner than older women (p < 0.05)
  6. *The association of women visiting bars of age <25 vs. 25–34 years and <25 vs. >34 years were significant, however no significant association was observed for women 25–34 vs. >34 years
  7. ^The association of women practicing fellatio of age <25 vs. >34 years and 25–34 vs. >34 years and were significant, however no significant association was observed for women <25 vs. 25–34 years
  8. †The association of women knowing their partner has concurrent partners of age <25 vs. 25–34 years and <25 vs. >34 years were significant, however no significant association was observed for women 25–34 vs. >34 years