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Sexual practices of HIV discordant and concordant couples in Rwanda: effects of a testing and counselling programme for men.

International Journal of STD & AIDS

statistics & numerical data, Adult, Cohort Studies, Condoms, Female, HIV Infections, epidemiology, prevention & control, psychology, HIV Seropositivity, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Male, Rwanda, Sex Counseling, Sexual Behavior

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      Abstract

      As part of a longitudinal investigation, the husbands and cohabiting male partners of 684 Rwandan women were recruited to participate in an HIV testing and counselling programme. All of the women and 256 of the men (37%) had previously received standard testing and generic counselling services. In this project, all of the men participated in an extensive, male-focused counselling programme. This included 428 men who were receiving testing and counselling for the first time. Interview responses indicated that rates of condom use during sexual intercourse increased dramatically at the one-year follow-up assessment for the serodiscordant couples. This effect was especially strong for couples whose male partners were receiving testing and counselling for the first time. Rates of condom use also increased substantially in seroconcordant HIV-positive couples whose partners had both been tested previously. Women in couples with at least one seropositive partner reported lower rates of coercive sex by their male partners after they completed the counselling programme. Male-focused and couple-focused testing and counselling programmes appear to be effective in reducing risky sexual behaviours in heterosexual couples, even if one or both partners have received testing and counselling services previously.

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