Love, lust, and the emotional context of concurrent sexual partnerships amomg young Swazi adults

Allison Ruark, Lunga Dlamini, Nonhlanhla Mazibuko, Edward C Green, Caitlin Kennedy, Amy Nunn, Timpthy Flanigan, Pamela J Surkan

Men and women in Swaziland who are engaged in multiple or concurrent sexual

partnerships, or who have sexual partners with concurrent partners, face a very

high risk of HIV infection. Ninety-four in-depth interviews were conducted with 28

Swazi men and women (14 of each sex) between the ages of 20 and 39 in order

to explore participants’ sexual partnership histories, including motivations for

sexual relationships which carried high HIV risk. Concurrency was normative,

with most men and women having had at least one concurrent sexual

partnership, and all women reporting having had at least one partner who had a

concurrent partner. Men distinguished sexual partnerships that were just for sex

from those that were considered to be “real relationships”, while women

represented the majority of their relationships, even those which included

significant financial support, as being based on love. Besides being motivated by

love, concurrent sexual partnerships were described as motivated by a lack of

sexual satisfaction, a desire for emotional support and/or as a means to exact

revenge against a cheating partner. Social and structural factors were also found

to play a role in creating an enabling environment for high-risk sexual

partnerships, and these factors included social pressure and norms, a lack of

social trust, poverty and a desire for material goods, and geographical separation

of partners.

Library code: 
Classification no: 
Special Collections: Swazi Focus
Accession no: 
Type of material: 
Accepted Manuscript
Physical description: 
33 p.: ill.
This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in African Journal of AIDS Research, 13(2), pp. 133-143, 29 July 2014, copyright Taylor & Francis