S. R. KIMUNA, Y. K. DJAMBA
and it needs to be approached from a socio-cultural standpoint.
Moore and Oppong’s (2007) study noted the futility of advo-
cating for people to use condoms, especially those in marriages.
Their research found that people in steady relationships such as
marriage did not believe in using condoms with their spouses,
even when they knew of their sero-positive HIV status. The fact
that condom use is not related to marital status even when mar-
ried people engage in extramarital sex is alarming. Prevention
programs should be multifaceted and take the environment in
which people live and local realities into consideration.
The migration effect was also non-significant in the models
of the likelihood of having multiple sexual partners, except
among men in rural areas. For the latter, we found that net of
other control variables urban-rural male migrants were signifi-
cantly more likely to have had sex with multiple partners than
non-migrants. With the exception of unmarried women in urban
areas who were significantly more likely to have had sex with
multiple partners, we did not find a significant effect of mar-
riage among men or women in rural areas. Again, this weak and
generally lack of strong effect of marriage on risky sexual be-
haviour shows that marriage per se is not a protective factor in
the combat against HIV/AIDS.
One encouraging finding is that those who consider them-
selves to be at risk of being infected with HIV tend to limit the
number of sexual partners. This result supports the popular
view that knowledge is power. Yet, this was not translated into
condom use at last non-marital sexual intercourse for urban
Education emerged as an important factor associated with
low sexual risk. Although more educated respondents tended to
see themselves at higher risk of being infected with HIV, they
were significantly more likely to use condoms at last non-
marital sexual activity and to report lower risk of having had
sexual intercourse with multiple partners. This finding supports
the idea that formal education is a strong empowerment vari-
able that leads to more responsible sexual behaviour. Likewise,
knowing someone who had HIV or died of AIDS seems to raise
awareness about HIV risk and to lead to better likelihood of
condom use in an extra-marital relationship.
We also found that delaying the onset of sexual intercourse
helps to lower risky sexual behaviour. Respondents who had
their first sexual intercourse at age 15 or later were significantly
less likely to see themselves as being at risk of HIV infection.
Such respondents were also more likely to use condoms at their
last non-marital sexual activity and were less likely to have had
sex with multiple sexual partners in the 12 months before the
survey. This result suggests that delayed sexual activity may
result in more knowledge and safer sexual practices. Other
cultural factors, such as religion and ethnicity also played some
role in risky sexual behaviour, although their effects were not
all consistent across sex and place of residence.
Overall, this study suggests that there is little or no signifi-
cant difference in sexual behaviours between migrants and
non-migrants. This is probably because migration in Kenya is
ongoing and quite complex. First, Kenya is a country of inter-
nal migration as compared to other nations in the region (Choi,
2003). As shown in this study, more than half of the respon-
dents in the sample were migrants. Second, Kenya is character-
ised by unique ethnic groups that have distinctive cultural
norms that have specific effects on sexual behaviours. As a
result, the findings from this study must be used with caution
when comparing to other regions of the world.
Nonetheless, the lack of strong effects of migration on the
sexual risk and sexual behaviour variables examined here sug-
gests that efforts to reduce risky sexual behaviour should target
all segments of the population, regardless of their migration
status and place of residence.
This paper was presented at the International Organization of
Social Sciences and Behavioural Research, the spring 2012
conference. Thanks also to Tawanda Blackmon and Erin Brown,
respectively research assistant and program assistant at the
Center for Demographic Research at Auburn University at
Montgomery, for helping with the preparation of the statistical
tables. The authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for
their comments and suggestions.
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