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Rates of HIV-1 transmission within marriage in rural Uganda in relation to the HIV sero-status of the partners.


AIDS. 1999 Jun 18;13(9):1083-9. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE

OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy of transmission of HIV-1 within married couples in rural Uganda according to the sero-status of the partners. DESIGN: Estimation of HIV incidence rates for 2200 adults in a population cohort followed for 7 years comparing male-to-female with female-to-male transmission and sero-discordant with concordant sero-negative couples. METHODS: Each year, adults (over 12 years of age) resident in the study area were linked to their spouses if also censused as resident. The HIV sero-status was determined annually. RESULTS: At baseline 7% of married adults were in sero-discordant marriages and in half of these the man was HIV-positive. Among those with HIV-positive spouses, the age-adjusted HIV incidence in women was twice that of men (rate ratio (RR) = 2.2 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9-5.4) whereas, among those with HIV-negative spouses, the incidence in women was less than half that of men (RR = 0.4, 95% CI 0.2-0.8). The age-adjusted incidence among women with HIV-positive spouses was 105.8 times (95% CI 33.6-332.7) that of women with HIV-negative spouses, the equivalent ratio for men being 11.6 (95% CI 5.8-23.4). CONCLUSION: Men are twice as likely as women to bring HIV infection into a marriage, presumably through extra-marital sexual behaviour. Within sero-discordant marriages women become infected twice as fast as men, probably because of increased biological susceptibility. Married adults, particularly women, with HIV-positive spouses are at very high risk of HIV infection. Married couples in this population should be encouraged to attend for HIV counselling together so that sero-discordant couples can be identified and advised accordingly.

JOURNAL ARTICLE Adolescence Adult Cohort Studies Female Human HIV Infections/EPIDEMIOLOGY/*TRANSMISSION *HIV Seronegativity *HIV Seropositivity *HIV-1 Incidence Male *Marital Status Middle Age Rural Population Sex Behavior *Sexual Partners Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Uganda/EPIDEMIOLOGY


Information in this article was accurate in November 30, 1999. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.