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Sex Transm Dis. 2007 May;34(5):302-8.

Predictors of discordant reports of sexual and HIV/sexually transmitted infection risk behaviors among heterosexual couples.

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1
Social Intervention Group, Columbia University School of Social Work, New York, NY 10027, USA. ssw12@columbia.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Assessments undertaken as part of couple-based HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention intervention studies offer opportunities to expand our understanding of couple reporting of sexual and HIV/STI risk behavior. Increases in heterosexual transmission of HIV worldwide support more attention on the quality and use of couple-level sexual risk assessment.

STUDY DESIGN:

This study examined interpartner concordance of self-reported sexual behaviors and HIV/STI risk behaviors among 217 women and their main male sexual partners at high risk for HIV/STI transmission and further explored specific individual and relationship characteristics by partner gender associated with discordant reporting of sexual and HIV/STI risk behaviors.

RESULTS:

Consistent with prior studies, findings suggest fair to substantial agreement between partners on reports of most sexual and HIV/STI risk behavior, but only poor to fair agreement on reports of concurrent sexual behaviors and drug or alcohol use. Factors significantly associated with discordant reporting of sexual behaviors included length of couple relationship, level of relationship satisfaction, female partner's marital status, and male partner's HIV status, ethnicity, and age.

CONCLUSIONS:

Individual- and relationship-level factors predicting discordant partner reports of sexual and sexual risk behaviors highlight an opportunity to improve couple assessment by anticipating such discrepancies and developing effective mechanisms of quality assurance to avoid, address, or better explain such discordance in couple data sets.

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