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Patterns of Self-reported Behaviour Change Associated with Receiving Voluntary Counselling and Testing in a Longitudinal Study from Manicaland, Zimbabwe

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      Voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) is promoted as a potential HIV prevention measure. We describe trends in uptake of VCT for HIV, and patterns of subsequent behaviour change associated with receiving VCT in a population-based open cohort in Manicaland, Zimbabwe. The relationship between receipt of VCT and subsequent reported behaviour was analysed using generalized linear models with random effects. At the third survey, 8.6% of participants (1,079/12,533), had previously received VCT. Women who received VCT, both those positive and negative, reduced their reported number of new partners. Among those testing positive, this risk reduction was enhanced with time since testing. Among men, no behavioural risk reduction associated with VCT was observed. Significant increases in consistent condom use, with regular or non-regular partners, following VCT, were not observed. This study suggests that, among women, particularly those who are infected, behavioural risk reduction does occur following VCT.

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      Sexual mixing patterns and sex-differentials in teenage exposure to HIV infection in rural Zimbabwe.

      HIV-1 prevalence typically rises more rapidly at young ages in women than in men in sub-Saharan Africa. Greater susceptibility to infection on exposure in women is believed to be a contributory factor as is greater exposure to previously infected sexual partners of the opposite sex. We investigated the latter hypothesis using data from a field study in rural Manicaland, Zimbabwe. Quantitative data on onset and degree of sexual activity, numbers of partners, concurrent partnerships, condom use, and partner characteristics were used in conjunction with epidemiological data on age and sex specific prevalence of HIV infection to do statistical analyses of association between key variables. Mathematical models and qualitative data were used to aid analysis and interpretation. Older age of sexual partner was associated with increased risk of HIV-1 infection in men (odds ratio 1.13 [95% CI 1.02-1.25]) and women (1.04 [1.01-1.07]). Young women form partnerships with men 5-10 years older than themselves, whereas young men have relationships with women of a similar age or slightly younger. Greater number of lifetime partners is also associated with increased risk of HIV (1.03 [1.00-1.05]). Young men report more partners than do women but infrequent coital acts and greater use of condoms. These behaviour patterns are underpinned by cultural factors including the expectation that women should marry earlier than men. A strong gender effect remains after factors that affect exposure to infected partners are controlled for (6.04 [1.49-24.47]). The substantial age difference between female and male sexual partners in Manicaland is the major behavioural determinant of the more rapid rise in HIV prevalence in young women than in men. Theoretical studies have suggested that this difference is an important determinant of observed epidemiological patterns but the study reported in this paper provides clear empirical evidence of association.
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        HIV decline associated with behavior change in eastern Zimbabwe.

        Few sub-Saharan African countries have witnessed declines in HIV prevalence, and only Uganda has compelling evidence for a decline founded on sexual behavior change. We report a decline in HIV prevalence in eastern Zimbabwe between 1998 and 2003 associated with sexual behavior change in four distinct socioeconomic strata. HIV prevalence fell most steeply at young ages-by 23 and 49%, respectively, among men aged 17 to 29 years and women aged 15 to 24 years-and in more educated groups. Sexually experienced men and women reported reductions in casual sex of 49 and 22%, respectively, whereas recent cohorts reported delayed sexual debut. Selective AIDS-induced mortality contributed to the decline in HIV prevalence.
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          Effect of serotesting with counselling on condom use and seroconversion among HIV discordant couples in Africa.

          To determine whether HIV testing and counselling increased condom use and decreased heterosexual transmission of HIV in discordant couples. Prospective study. Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Cohabiting couples with discordant HIV serology results. Condom use in the couple and HIV seroconversion in the negative partners. 60 HIV discordant couples were identified, of whom 53 were followed for an average of 2.2 years. The proportion of discordant couples using condoms increased from 4% to 57% after one year of follow up. During follow up two of the 23 HIV negative men and six of the 30 HIV negative women seroconverted (seroconversion rates of 4 and 9 per 100 person years). The rate among women was less than half that estimated for similar women in discordant couples whose partners had not been serotested. Condom use was less common among those who seroconverted (100% v 5%, p = 0.01 in men; 67% v 25%, p = 0.14 in women). Roughly one in seven cohabiting couples in Kigali have discordant HIV serological results. Confidential HIV serotesting with counselling caused a large increase in condom use and was associated with a lower rate of new HIV infections. HIV testing is a promising intervention for preventing the spread of HIV in African cities.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London, St. Marys Campus, Norfolk Place, Paddington, London, W2 1PG UK
            [2 ]Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe
            [3 ]Royal Free Hospital, University College London, London, UK
            [4 ]London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
            +44-20-75943631 , +44-20-75948321 ,
            AIDS Behav
            AIDS and Behavior
            Springer US (Boston )
            22 July 2009
            22 July 2009
            June 2010
            : 14
            : 3
            : 708-715
            © The Author(s) 2009
            Original Paper
            Custom metadata
            © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

            Infectious disease & Microbiology

            testing, counselling, sexual behaviour, hiv, zimbabwe


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