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Couples HIV testing and counselling prompts rapid switch to consistent condom use in South African study


HIV testing and counselling of couples quickly led to consistent condom use among serodiscordant couples in stable relationships in South Africa, researchers report in the advance online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

In this secondary analysis of self-reported behavioural data of 508 HIV-infected participants recruited into the Partners in Prevention study (aciclovir as secondary prophylaxis in HIV/HSV-2 co-infected people to prevent HIV transmission to their HIV-negative partner), 71% of those just learning their HIV status reported unprotected sex, compared to a quarter who knew their status for the full month.

One month later, when all had had couples' HIV testing and counselling (HTC), and so were aware of their discordant relationship, the proportion of those having unprotected sex fell dramatically, from 71 to 8%.  

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Information in this article was accurate in December 5, 2012. 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.