Changes in risk behavior among HIV-positive patients during their first year of antiretroviral therapy in Cape Town South Africa

AIDS Behav. 2009 Dec;13(6):1097-105. doi: 10.1007/s10461-008-9473-2. Epub 2008 Oct 10.


We explore changes in sexual risk behaviour over the first year of antiretroviral therapy (ART) among a cohort of patients in Cape Town South Africa initiating treatment in five public facilities in 2006 and again 1 year later (Time 1 and Time 2). Contemporaneous measures of unprotected sex were also obtained from 2 cross-sectional samples of HIV-positive patients waiting to start ART attending the same facilities. Unprotected sex at last sex among patients on ART decreased significantly from a baseline of 44.7-23.2% one year later, regardless of partner status. After controlling for confounding factors, the observed decrease in unprotected sex among the ART cohort was highly significant in relation to the 2 cross-sectional samples of patients at Time 1 and Time 2 waiting to initiate ART. Findings suggest it is critical to start positive prevention to decrease risky sexual behavior prior to the start of ART within this setting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • South Africa / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Anti-HIV Agents