Sexual and Relationship Benefits of a Safer Conception Intervention Among Men with HIV Who Seek to Have Children with Serodifferent Partners in Uganda

Academic Article


  • Many men with HIV (MWH) in Uganda desire children, yet seldom receive reproductive counseling related to HIV care. Because men are under engaged in safer conception programming, they miss opportunities to reap the benefits of these programs. The objective of this sub-analysis was to explore the relationship and intimacy benefits of integrating safer conception counseling and strategies into HIV care, an emergent theme from exit interviews with men who participated in a pilot safer conception program and their partners. Twenty interviews were conducted with MWH who desired a child in the next year with an HIV-uninfected/status unknown female partner, and separate interviews were conducted with female partners (n = 20); of the 40 interviews, 28 were completed by both members of a couple. Interviews explored experiences participating in The Healthy Families program, which offered MWH safer conception counseling and access to specific strategies. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Three major subthemes or “pathways” to the relationship and intimacy benefits associated with participation in the program emerged: (1) improved dyadic communication; (2) joint decision-making and power equity in the context of reproduction; and (3) increased sexual and relational intimacy, driven by reduced fear of HIV transmission and relationship dissolution. These data suggest that the intervention not only helped couples realize their reproductive goals; it also improved relationship dynamics and facilitated intimacy, strengthening partnerships and reducing fears of separation. Directly addressing these benefits with MWH and their partners may increase engagement with HIV prevention strategies for conception.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • AIDS and Behavior  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Stanton AM; Bwana M; Owembabazi M; Atukunda E; Musinguzi E; Ezegbe H; Smith P; Psaros C; Matthews LT; Kaida A
  • Start Page

  • 1841
  • End Page

  • 1852
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 6