Although all women regardless of marital status and age engage in sexual activity and susceptible to the risk of infection very little scholarly attention has been given to middle-aged single women in sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) and sub-regions. Assessing the sexual activities and behaviours of these women is expected to aid an effective intervention aimed at improving the sexual health of all women and minimize risks of infections. Using pooled data from selected SSA countries, we

describe the prevalence of sexual activities and behaviours among these women. Our preliminary findings show that more than half of the single women in SSA and most of the regions are sexually active and about one in 10 sexually active single women had multiple sexual partners. Consistent use of condom is low among these women in SSA (33%) and sub-regions. Furthermore, less than one in 10 sexually active single women had a very young (<5years) sexual partner. Age, educational attainment, and frequency of sexual intercourse were significant predictors of the risk of infection in SSA and most of the regions. Most middle-aged single women are sexual active and hence deserves attention. Considering the high level of sexual activity and low use of condom and other modern method of contraception there is a need for sexual intervention techniques which may allow for procreation without significant risk of infection.

CONTRIBUTORS: Clifford Odimegwu (WITS University)