AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 9–15 | Cite as

Sexual Serosorting among Women with or at Risk of HIV Infection

  • Chenglong Liu
  • Haihong Hu
  • Lakshmi Goparaju
  • Michael Plankey
  • Peter Bacchetti
  • Kathleen Weber
  • Nereida Correa
  • Marek Nowicki
  • Tracey E. Wilson
Original Paper


Serosorting, the practice of selectively engaging in unprotected sex with partners of the same HIV serostatus, has been proposed as a strategy for reducing HIV transmission risk among men who have sex with men (MSM). However, there is a paucity of scientific evidence regarding whether women engage in serosorting. We analyzed longitudinal data on women’s sexual behavior with male partners collected in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study from 2001 to 2005. Serosorting was defined as an increasing trend of unprotected anal or vaginal sex (UAVI) within seroconcordant partnerships over time, more frequent UAVI within seroconcordant partnerships compared to non-concordant partnerships, or having UAVI only with seroconcordant partners. Repeated measures Poisson regression models were used to examine the associations between serostatus partnerships and UAVI among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women. The study sample consisted of 1,602 HIV-infected and 664 HIV-uninfected women. Over the follow-up period, the frequency of seroconcordant partnerships increased for HIV-uninfected women but the prevalence of UAVI within seroconcordant partnerships remained stable. UAVI was reported more frequently within HIV seroconcordant partnerships than among serodiscordant or unknown serostatus partnerships, regardless of the participant’s HIV status or types of partners. Among women with both HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected partners, 41% (63 HIV-infected and 9 HIV-uninfected) were having UAVI only with seroconcordant partners. Our analyses suggest that serosorting is occurring among both HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women in this cohort.


HIV Unprotected sex Serosorting Risk reduction Condom use 



Data in this manuscript were collected by the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) Collaborative Study Group with centers (Principal Investigators) at New York City/Bronx Consortium (Kathryn Anastos); Brooklyn, NY (Howard Minkoff); Washington DC Metropolitan Consortium (Mary Young); The Connie Wofsy Study Consortium of Northern California (Ruth Greenblatt); Los Angeles County/Southern California Consortium (Alexandra Levine); Chicago Consortium (Mardge Cohen); Data Coordinating Center (Stephen Gange). The WIHS is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases with supplemental funding from the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (UO1-AI-35004, UO1-AI-31834, UO1-AI-34994, UO1-AI-34989, UO1-AI-34993, and UO1-AI-42590). Funding is also provided by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (UO1-HD-32632) and the National Center for Research Resources (MO1-RR-00071, MO1-RR-00079, MO1-RR-00083).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chenglong Liu
    • 1
  • Haihong Hu
    • 1
  • Lakshmi Goparaju
    • 1
  • Michael Plankey
    • 1
  • Peter Bacchetti
    • 2
  • Kathleen Weber
    • 3
  • Nereida Correa
    • 4
  • Marek Nowicki
    • 5
  • Tracey E. Wilson
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of MedicineGeorgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Hektoen Institute of Medicine and The CORE Center at John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook CountyChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  5. 5.Department of PediatricsUniversity of South CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  6. 6.Department of Community Health SciencesState University of New York, Downstate Medical CenterBrooklynUSA

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