Couples at risk of HIV infection, southern India.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: HIV infection (Risk factors)
HIV infection (Demographic aspects)
Pub Date: 05/01/2010
Publication: Name: Reproductive Health Matters Publisher: Reproductive Health Matters Audience: General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Family and marriage; Health; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Reproductive Health Matters ISSN: 0968-8080
Issue: Date: May, 2010 Source Volume: 18 Source Issue: 35
Geographic: Geographic Scope: India Geographic Code: 9INDI India
Accession Number: 236247772
Full Text: Seronegative partners in HIV discordant relationships are at risk of acquiring HIV. However, most prevention programmes focus on increasing fidelity. This cross-sectional study compared the clinical and behavioural characteristics of HIV-positive South Indian patients in concordant and discordant heterosexual relationships presenting consecutively between June 2006 and Match 2008 at the YRG CARE Centre, Chennai. 839 concordant patients and 996 discordant patients were included. HIV-positive men were significantly more likely to be in discordant than concordant relationships (97% of those in discordant relationships were men versus 59% of those in concordant, p=0.002) and women were more likely to be the HIV-negative partner in discordant relationships. More discordant patients had never initiated antiretroviral treatment than concordant patients (14.1% versus 8.5%, p=0.004). Discordant patients had significantly lower CD4 cell counts than concordant patients (p=0.001) and significantly higher plasma viral loads (p=0.002) at the time of enrolling for care. Despite knowledge of HIV status and a high level of disclosure to their partner, condoms were still underused, though they were more used by discordant patients with their spouses than concordant patients (49% versus 28.8%, p=0.01). The spouses of HIV-positive index patients are at increased risk for HIV infection. Couple-based interventions and the provision of HAART are needed to decrease this risk. (1)

(1.) Kumarasamy N, Venkatesh KK, Srikrishnan AK, et al. Couples at risk for HIV infection in Southern India: characteristics of HIV-infected patients in concordant and discordant heterosexual relationships. International Journal of STD & AIDS 2010;21:96-100.
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