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The role of HIV/AIDS awareness on the process of partnership formation in Africa: results from the 2004 Courtship and Condoms study in rural south-western Uganda

Dorothy Akurut, Medical Research Council, Uganda
Brent Wolff, Medical Research Council, Uganda
Samuel Biraro, Medical Research Council, Uganda
Heiner Grosskurth, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

HIV decline in Uganda has been attributed to the importance of primary behaviour change. We investigate the role of AIDS awareness in recent partnership formation in a rural study area of south-western Uganda with demonstrated declines in HIV incidence. Methods: Between May and December 2004, repeated in-depth interviews were conducted with 60 men and women identified by a concurrent serosurvey as having started a new sexual relationship within the last 12 months. Coding and analysis is done using NVIVO software. Results: HIV awareness is defined using the Prochaska stages of behaviour change model. Calendar methods are used to collect sexual life histories and the evolution of HIV awareness over the lifecourse. In-depth discussions show economic and social advantages often override strong concerns over HIV in starting new relationships. Implications for the role of risk perception in partnership formation and promotion of primary behaviour change will be discussed.

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Presented in Session 60: Sexual behaviour and HIV