Changes in sexual risk behavior before and after HIV seroconversion in Southern African women enrolled in a HIV prevention trial
Venkatesh K, de Bruyn G, Mayer K, Cheng H, Blanchard K, Ramjee G, Chipato T, Triche E, Padian N, van der Straten A. Changes in sexual risk behavior before and after HIV seroconversion in Southern African women enrolled in a HIV prevention trial. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. August 2011; 57(5):435-441.
BACKGROUND: We examine changes in sexual risk behaviors before and after HIV seroconversion in southern African women enrolled in the Methods for Improving Reproductive Health in Africa trial.
METHODS: HIV testing and counseling, and assessment of sexual behaviors by audio computer-assisted self-interviewing were performed approximately every 3 months. We compared the following sexual behaviors: being sexually active, coital frequency, consistent male condom use, use of any female condoms, anal sex, and >1 sex partner, at study visits before and after HIV seroconversion.
RESULTS: During the trial, 327 women seroconverted to HIV, contributing 718 pre-HIV and 1110 post-HIV study visits. Women were significantly more likely to report consistent condom use at visits after HIV seroconversion compared with visits before HIV infection [adjusted odds ratio, (AOR): 1.36 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11 to 1.67)] and were less likely to have >1 male sex partner after serconversion [AOR: 0.66 (95% CI: 0.48 to 0.91)]. Women reported less frequently being sexually active [AOR: 0.63 (95% CI: 0.39 to 1.02)], fewer episodes of sex [>4 sex acts over the past week AOR: 0.74 (95% CI: 0.60 to 0.91)], and a reduction in anal sex [AOR: 0.58 (95% CI: 0.36 to 0.95)] at visits after HIV seroconversion. The observed reductions in sexual risk behaviors persisted over time.
CONCLUSIONS: Women significantly decreased their sexual risk behaviors after HIV seroconversion, but these changes were relatively modest, suggesting the need for further secondary prevention. Timely notification of HIV status coupled with prevention messages can contribute to reductions in sexual risk behaviors.