Sexual and reproductive health and HIV in border districts affected by migration and poverty in Tanzania

Josephine Obel, Markus Larsson, Morten Sodemann

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Objectives To assess HIV knowledge, attitudes, sexual practices and sexual and reproductive health ( SRH) service delivery in border areas of Tanzania, with a view to support the prioritisation of SRH interventions in border areas. Methods The target sample comprised randomly selected people living near the border, aged 15 to 49 years. To gather information, we utilised: (i) a standardised questionnaire (n = 86; 42 men and 44 women) previously used in national household surveys conducted by the Tanzanian government; (ii) focus group discussions (ten male groupsn = 47; ten female groups, n = 51); and (iii) semi- structured interviews with service providers (n = 37). Results The mean number of sexual partners, frequency of multiple concurrent partnerships and engagement in transactional sex were significantly higher in the border community than in the national population. Knowledge about HIV was comparable with that in the general population. Access to SRH services was limited in the border areas. Conclusion Efforts to reduce HIV transmission and to improve SRH in the border areas should focus on gaps in service delivery rather than education and information activities alone. In addition, multi-sectorial efforts spanning the health, social, legal and private sectors addressing gender imbalances and poverty alleviation are imperative for reducing poverty-driven unsafe transactional sex.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-431
JournalEuropean Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • Reproductive health
  • HIV
  • Migration
  • Tanzania


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