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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2010 Jan;24(1):49-58. doi: 10.1089/apc.2009.0214.

Prevalence and contexts of inconsistent condom use among heterosexual men and women living with HIV in India: implications for prevention.

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Indian Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS, Chennai, India .


This investigation examined sexual behaviors among heterosexual persons living with HIV (PLHIV) in India. Study participants (mostly married) were interviewed during August to November 2006 in five Indian states using a quantitative survey (n = 100 men and 100 women), eight focus groups (n = 58 participants), and in-depth interviews (n = 31). One third of men and one fourth of women reported inconsistent condom use with regular sexual partners. Facilitators of condom use with regular partners included a feeling of personal responsibility to protect the health of the partner, desire to prevent acquisition and/or transmission of sexually transmitted infections, and the belief that condoms are needed for antiretroviral therapy to be effective. Barriers to consistent condom use with regular partners included the belief that condoms are unnecessary in HIV-positive seroconcordant relationships; lack of sexual satisfaction with condoms; the desire to have a child; husband's alcohol use, depression, and anxiety; fear that disclosure of HIV status will bring marital discord and family shame; and inadequate counseling by health care providers. Positive prevention programs should include counseling about benefits of safer sex in HIV-positive seroconcordant relationships, counseling about integrating condom use with sexual satisfaction and intimacy, condom use self-efficacy and negotiation skills-building, family planning counseling, mental health and alcohol dependence treatment, and counseling and skills-building about disclosure. Health care providers must be trained to provide these services. Furthermore, efforts are needed to promote tolerance for family planning choices made by couples and to counter the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and condoms in the broader society.

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