Concurrent sexual partnerships among individuals in HIV sero-discordant heterosexual couples
The objective of the study was to assess the level at which individuals in HIV discordant couples engage in concurrent sexual partnerships and factors associated with this risk of transmitting HIV. By using data from a group of HIV discordant heterosexual couples (n = 145), we examined the frequency of concurrent sexual partners and factors associated with such partnerships. The prevalence of concurrent partnerships with heterosexual partners was 16%. Fewer than half of individuals with concurrent partnerships reported that their main study partner knew about these relationships. Of individuals involved in concurrent partnerships, 30% reported inconsistent condom use in these relationships. Unmarried individuals in new HIV sero-discordant relationships were particularly at risk for concurrent partnerships. In conclusion, more frequent HIV testing may complement increased attention to communication, disclosure and condom use in this population that is especially vulnerable to acquiring and transmitting HIV infection.