More Than the Sum of Their Parts: Couples and HIV in Zimbabwe

Danielle Denardo , Soka University of America

In order to provide the HIV prevention and treatment services needed by couples, it is necessary to understand which sexual risk behaviors are associated with each possible HIV status for couples (negative concordant, positive concordant, and discordant). This is especially important for HIV-discordant couples given their unique risk for seroconversion within the primary couple. This study used 2015 Demographic and Health Studies (DHS) couple-level data for Zimbabwe to examine whether sexual risk behaviors and sexual mixing trends differ for HIV-discordant couples when compared to concordant couples. The findings from this study demonstrate that individual-level and couple-level factors together tell a more complete story about HIV risk for couples in Zimbabwe and that a focus on stable couples, and the women in stable couples in particular, for prevention and treatment services could help continue, or even accelerate, the HIV prevalence decline in Zimbabwe.

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 Presented in Session 1. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, & Reproductive Health 1