, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 1243-1250
Date: 27 Oct 2010

Continued High Risk Sexual Behavior Following Diagnosis with Acute HIV Infection in South Africa and Malawi: Implications for Prevention

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Abstract

Understanding sexual behavior following diagnosis of acute HIV infection (AHI) is key to developing prevention programs targeting individuals diagnosed with AHI. We conducted separate qualitative and quantitative interviews with individuals newly diagnosed (n = 19) with AHI at 1-, 4- and 12-weeks post-diagnosis and one qualitative interview with individuals who had previously been diagnosed with AHI (n = 18) in Lilongwe, Malawi and Johannesburg, South Africa between October 2007 and June 2008. The majority of participants reported engaging in sexual activity following diagnosis with AHI with a significant minority reporting unprotected sex during this time. Most participants perceived to have changed their behavior following diagnosis. However, participants reported barriers to condom use and abstinence, in particular, long term relationships and the need for disclosure of sero-status. Understanding of increased infectiousness during AHI was limited. Participants reported a desire for a behavioral intervention at the time of AHI diagnosis, however, there were differences by country in the types of interventions participants found acceptable. Studies are underway to determine the feasibility, acceptability and potential effectiveness of interventions designed for individuals with AHI.