Studies Show Long-Term Couples Overlooked by HIV Prevention Strategies

The Washington Post examines research presented at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections that indicates HIV prevention strategies in sub-Saharan Africa are overlooking the risk of transmission between couples in long-term relationships, fueling the spread of the disease. "Only as HIV testing has become more common in Africa in the past few years have health authorities come to appreciate the vast number of 'discordant couples,' in which one partner is HIV-positive and the other isn't," the newspaper writes. "For example, in the East African nation of Kenya, about 1 in 10 couples is affected by HIV. In 40 percent of those couples, both partners are infected. But in 60 percent -- about 340,000 couples -- only one partner is." The article examines how lack of awareness about partner status contributes to the spread of the disease and ways to structure prevention campaigns to focus on this population (Brown, 2/18).

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