Links among community social cohesion, group membership and HIV risk behaviours were investigated among 14 to 18-year-old females and males in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. The impact of social capital indices and their components were examined. Young men in more cohesive communities were less likely to have a non-consensual first sexual experience. Residing in a turbulent community was associated with an increased likelihood of multiple partners for both sexes. Greater perceived trust among neighbours mapped to older age at sexual for young women and lower chances of nonconsensual sex, as did membership in sports, study and religious groups. The design and targeting of HIV-prevention programmes for adolescents should incorporate such gendered social determinants of vulnerability.
Hallman, K. Social Exclusion: The Gendering of Adolescent HIV Risk in South Africa. In: The Fourth Wave: Violence, Gender, Culture & HIV in the 21st Century’, J. Klot and V. Nguyen (eds.), SSRC and UNESCO. (2010)