Risk assessment of sexual behaviors in serodiscordant couples
© Largu et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013
Published: 16 December 2013
This paper aims to assess the risk of sexual behaviors in serodiscordant couples in the Infectious Diseases Hospital “Sf Parascheva”, Iaşi, Romania.
We assessed 40 persons from serodiscordant couples, in the hospital’s psycho-social assistance office. Of these, 20 were HIV-positive young men and women registered in the Regional HIV/AIDS Center. Assessments were made between January and August 2013. The instrument used was a questionnaire developed by the psychologist, with questions relating to the frequency of sexual intercourse and contraceptive methods used.
All the young people we assessed were part of heterosexual couples, with equal numbers of males and females. The average age was 24.76 years, with a minimum of 18 and maximum of 34 years. Participants were mostly post-secondary education or training (31%), followed in proportion by secondary education (grades 4-8, 21%), but with a high percentage of high school and university (20%) as well. Thirty participants belonged to a family, while 10 were from foster care or placement centers. 46% of participants were in a relationship based on dating without living together, and equal proportions of 27.5% were either married or cohabiting. Regarding the duration of the relationship in which they were involved, the majority of participants (51%) had an ongoing relationship for more than one year, 30% between 6 months and one year, 15% between 3 and 6 months and only 3.8% estimated the duration of their relationship for less than 3 months. Eighty percent declared they have sex once a week or more, 5% less often than once a week, 10% said they did not have sex, and the remaining 5% refused to answer the question. Of the 85% of sexually active, 29.4% reported using a condom every time, 58.8% sometimes and 11.7% never.
HIV-positive patients and their HIV-negative partners still assume considerable risk and consciously ignore protection against HIV transmission. However, the results of this study are up for debate due to a certain attitude regarding the disclosure of personal details about one’s sex life, still common in the current social context.
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