Dr Kathryn Risher
Research Fellow, Population Studies Group,
Department of Population Health
1.00pm, Tuesday 24th April
LG9 (Curtis Room), Keppel Street
Relatively little is known about the structure of sexual networks in Southern Africa, largely because complete sexual network data is extremely difficult to gather. HIV in Southern Africa is largely driven by sexual transmission, and as a result sexual mixing patterns and sexual network structure determines who can be reached by HIV infection. Using data collected by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in 2012’s nationally representative household survey, we assess sexual mixing patterns in South African adults. We find highly assortative sexual mixing across demographic characteristics and by HIV testing and treatment status. Using the limited sexual behaviour and mixing data available in this survey, we simulate sexual networks consistent with collected data. We assess the impact of assumptions made when simulating sexual networks on HIV transmission, finding that assumptions made when balancing the number of partnerships reported by male and female respondents result in varied HIV epidemic trajectories.