Evidence of marked sexual behavior change associated with low HIV-1 seroconversion in 149 married couples with discordant HIV-1 serostatus: experience at an HIV counselling center in Zaire

AIDS. 1991 Jan;5(1):61-7. doi: 10.1097/00002030-199101000-00009.


To determine the effect of an HIV-1 counselling program on 149 married Zairian couples with discordant HIV-1 serology, the rates of HIV-1 seroconversion and reported condom utilization have been observed during 382.4 person-years of follow-up (minimum follow-up time per couple of 6 months). Before determination of HIV-1 serostatus and counselling, less than 5% of these couples had ever used a condom. One month after notification of HIV-1 serostatus and counselling, 70.7% of couples reported using condoms during all episodes of sexual intercourse. At 18 months follow-up, 77.4% of the 140 couples still being followed reported continued use of condoms during all episodes of sexual intercourse. At the time of notification of HIV-1 serostatus, 18 couples experienced acute psychological distress. Home-based counselling by trained nurses resolved these difficulties in all but three couples who subsequently divorced. Intensive counselling following notification of HIV-1 serostatus led to low rates of HIV-1 seroconversion (3.1% per 100 person-years of observation) in Zairian married couples with discordant HIV-1 serostatus who voluntarily attended an HIV counselling center.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contraceptive Devices, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • HIV Seropositivity / epidemiology
  • HIV Seropositivity / physiopathology
  • HIV Seropositivity / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology*
  • Sex Counseling
  • Sexual Behavior*