Advanced search×
×

Unprotected sex following HIV testing among women in Uganda and Zimbabwe: short- and long-term comparisons with pre-test behaviour.

International Journal of Epidemiology 38(4):997 (2009) PMID 19349481 PMCID PMC2720394

Despite widespread condom promotion for HIV prevention, prospective measurement of condom use before and after HIV testing is infrequent. We analysed data from a prospective study of hormonal contraception and HIV acquisition among Zimbabwean and Ugandan women (1999-2004), in which HIV testing and counselling were performed approximately every 3 months. We used zero-inflated negative binomial (ZINB) models to examine the number and proportion of unprotected sex acts, comparing behaviour reported 2-6 months before HIV testing with behaviour reported both 2-6 months (short-term analysis) and 12-16 months (long-term analysis) after HIV testing. Short- and long-term analyses were similar, so we present only long-term findings from 151 HIV-infected and 650 uninfected participants. The proportion of HIV-infected women reporting any unprotected acts in a typical month declined from 74% (pre-infection behaviour) to 56% (12-16 months after HIV diagnosis). In multivariable models, HIV-infected women were twice as likely to report that all sex acts were protected by condoms after diagnosis compared with beforehand [adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.99, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.12-3.53]; uninfected women were somewhat less likely to report that all acts were protected (aOR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.64-1.04). HIV-infected women also reduced their number of unprotected acts by 38% (95% CI: -16 to -55%). However, their proportion of unprotected acts changed little (7% reduction, 95% CI: -18 to + 6%). Uninfected women reported little change in number or proportion of unprotected acts over the same time period. HIV-infected women reduced the number, but not the proportion, of unprotected acts. HIV-negative women did not increase condom use after testing and counselling, but neither did they decrease condom use, suggesting that testing negative was not interpreted as endorsement of risky behaviour.

DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyp171