Sources of HIV incidence among stable couples in sub-Saharan Africa

Hiam Chemaitelly, Susanne F Awad, James D Shelton, Laith J Abu-Raddad Journal of the International AIDS Society, 2014; JIAS, 2014, 17: 18765 Sources of HIV incidence among stable couples in sub-Saharan Africa

The dynamics of HIV incidence among stable couples should inform HIV prevention strategy.

Close to two-thirds of total HIV incidence every year in sub-Saharan Africa occurs within the context of marriage or cohabitation. However, only half of these infections are actually attributed to HIV transmissions from the infected to the uninfected partner within the couple. The rest are acquired through extra-partner sexual encounters of the couple.

Like earlier studies, this paper concludes that HIV distribution is roughly in equal proportions

  • among external infections to couples
  • within couples
  • among persons not in couples

Further research and intervention impact assessments are needed, in order to propose recommendations for HIV policy and programming.  

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