Paying for sex has often been associated with risky sexual behavior among heterosexual men, and men who pay for sex are considered as a bridging population for sexually transmitted infections. Consistent condom use during paid sex is essential for reducing sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. In this study, we assessed the prevalence and predictors of consistent condom use among men who pay for sex in sub-Saharan Africa.
Materials and methods
We pooled data from 29 sub-Saharan African countries’ Demographic and Health Surveys. A total of 3,353 men in sub-Saharan Africa who had paid for sex in the last 12 months preceding the surveys and had complete information on all the variables of interest were used in this study. The outcome variable for the study was consistent condom use for every paid sex in the last 12 months. Both bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were carried out. Results were presented as adjusted odds ratios with their corresponding 95% confidence intervals. Statistical significance was declared at p< 0.05.
Overall, the prevalence of consistent condom use during paid sex in sub-Saharan Africa was 83.96% (CI = 80.35–87.56), ranging from 48.70% in Benin to 98% in Burkina Faso. Men aged 35–44 [AOR, 1.39 CI = 1.04–1.49], men in the richest wealth quintile [AOR, 1.96 CI = 1.30–3.00], men with secondary level of education [AOR, 1.69 CI = 1.17–2.44], and men in Burkina Faso [AOR = 67.59, CI = 8.72–523.9] had higher odds of consistent condom use during paid sex, compared to men aged 15–19, those in the poorest wealth quintile, those with no formal education, and men in Benin respectively. Conversely, Muslim men had lower odds [AOR = 0.71, CI = 0.53–0.95] of using condom consistently during paid sex, compared to Christian men.
Empirical evidence from this study suggests that consistent condom use during paid sex encompasses complex social and demographic characteristics. The study also revealed that demographic characteristics such as age, wealth quintile, education, and religion were independently related to consistent condom use for paid sex among men. With sub-Saharan Africa having the highest sexual and reproductive health burden in the world, continuous application of evidence-based interventions (e.g., educational and entrepreneurial training) that account for behavioural and social vulnerabilities are required.