Periconception HIV Risk Behavior Among Men and Women Reporting HIV-Serodiscordant Partners in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

L. T. Matthews, J. A. Smit, L. Moore, C. Milford, R. Greener, F. N. Mosery, H. Ribaudo, K. Bennett, T. L. Crankshaw, A. Kaida, C. Psaros, S. A. Safren, D. R. Bangsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


HIV-infected men and women who choose to conceive risk infecting their partners. To inform safer conception programs we surveyed HIV risk behavior prior to recent pregnancy amongst South African, HIV-infected women (N = 209) and men (N = 82) recruited from antenatal and antiretroviral clinics, respectively, and reporting an uninfected or unknown-HIV-serostatus pregnancy partner. All participants knew their HIV-positive serostatus prior to the referent pregnancy. Only 11 % of women and 5 % of men had planned the pregnancy; 40 % of women and 27 % of men reported serostatus disclosure to their partner before conception. Knowledge of safer conception strategies was low. Around two-thirds reported consistent condom use, 41 % of women and 88 % of men reported antiretroviral therapy, and a third of women reported male partner circumcision prior to the referent pregnancy. Seven women (3 %) and two men (2 %) reported limiting sex without condoms to peak fertility. None reported sperm washing or manual insemination. Safer conception behaviors including HIV-serostatus disclosure, condom use, and ART at the time of conception were not associated with desired pregnancy. In light of low pregnancy planning and HIV-serostatus disclosure, interventions to improve understandings of serodiscordance and motivate mutual HIV-serostatus disclosure and pregnancy planning are necessary first steps before couples or individuals can implement specific safer conception strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2291-2303
Number of pages13
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Safer conception
  • Serodiscordant couples
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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