South Africans with recent pregnancy rarely know partner's HIV serostatus: Implications for serodiscordant couples interventions

Academic Article

Abstract

  • © 2014 Matthews et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Background: Implementation of safer conception strategies requires knowledge of partner HIV-serostatus. We recruited women and men in a high HIV-prevalence setting for a study to assess periconception risk behavior among individuals reporting HIV-serodiscordant partnerships. We report screening data from that study with the objective of estimating the proportion of individuals who are aware that they are in an HIV-serodiscordant relationship at the time of conception.Methods. We screened women and men attending antenatal and antiretroviral clinics in Durban, South Africa for enrollment in a study of periconception risk behavior among individuals with serodiscordant partners. Screening questionnaires assessed for study eligibility including age 18-45 years (for women) or at least 18 years of age (for men), pregnancy in past year (women) or partner pregnancy in the past 3 years (men), HIV status of partner for recent pregnancy, participant's HIV status, and infected partner's HIV status having been known before the referent pregnancy.Results: Among 2620 women screened, 2344 (90%) met age and pregnancy criteria and knew who fathered the referent pregnancy. Among those women, 963 (41%) did not know the pregnancy partner's HIV serostatus at time of screening. Only 92 (4%) reported knowing of a serodiscordant partnership prior to pregnancy. Among 1166 men screened, 225 (19%) met age and pregnancy criteria. Among those men, 71 (32%) did not know the pregnancy partner's HIV status and only 30 (13%) reported knowing of a serodiscordant partnership prior to pregnancy.Conclusions: In an HIV-endemic setting, awareness of partner HIV serostatus is rare. Innovative strategies to increase HIV testing and disclosure are required to facilitate HIV prevention interventions for serodiscordant couples.
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    Author List

  • Matthews LT; Moore L; Crankshaw TL; Milford C; Mosery FN; Greener R; Psaros C; Safren SA; Bangsberg DR; Smit JA
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 1