AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 479–487 | Cite as

HIV Knowledge and Sexual Risk Behavior Among Pregnant Couples in South Africa: The PartnerPlus Project

  • Olga M. Villar-Loubet
  • Ryan Cook
  • Nahida Chakhtoura
  • Karl Peltzer
  • Stephen M. Weiss
  • Molatelo Elisa Shikwane
  • Deborah L. Jones
Original Paper


In sub-Saharan Africa, 60 % of people living with HIV are women and most are of childbearing age. Alarmingly, seroconversion rates during pregnancy are high and increase as pregnancy progresses, highlighting the importance of increasing HIV-knowledge among pregnant women and their partners. This study compared sexual risk behavior, HIV knowledge and condom use pre- to post-partum among South African couples (n = 239 couples) randomly assigned to an intervention or an enhanced standard of care with the PMTCT protocol at rural community health antenatal clinics. Consistent condom use and HIV-related knowledge increased baseline to post-intervention and was maintained at long term follow up post-partum among participants in the intervention condition. HIV knowledge mediated the relationship between the intervention and consistent condom use. Results from this pilot study provide support for the integration of HIV risk reduction interventions for both women and men into existing PMTCT services during and following pregnancy.


HIV knowledge Sexual risk PMTCT Couples South Africa 


En el África subsahariana, 60 % de las personas viviendo con VIH son mujeres y la mayoría son de edad que pueden tener hijos. Alarmantemente, las tasas de seroconversión del VIH durante el embarazo son altas y aumentan mientras el embarazo progresa, enfatizando la importancia del conocimiento del VIH entre las mujeres embarazadas y sus compañeros. Este estudio comparó la conducta del riesgo sexual, conocimiento acerca del VIH, y el uso de condones antes y después del parto entre las parejas del Sur de Africa (n = 239 parejas) asignadas al azar a una intervención o a mayor nivel de atención con el protocol PMTCT en clínicas prenatales de la salud de la comunidad rural. El uso consistente del condón y el conocimiento acerca del VIH aumentó de línea de base para después de la intervención y fue mantenida por largo tiempo en el cuidado postparto entre los participantes del grupo de intervención. El conocimiento acerca del VIH medió la relación entre la intervención y el uso consistente del condón. Resultados de este estudio piloto proveé ayuda para la integración entre la intervención de reducir el riesgo para mujeres y hombres en los servicios PMTCT durante y subsecuente al embarazo.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olga M. Villar-Loubet
    • 1
  • Ryan Cook
    • 1
  • Nahida Chakhtoura
    • 2
  • Karl Peltzer
    • 3
    • 4
  • Stephen M. Weiss
    • 1
  • Molatelo Elisa Shikwane
    • 3
  • Deborah L. Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  3. 3.HIV/AIDS/STI and TB (HAST) Research ProgrammeHuman Sciences Research CouncilPretoriaSouth Africa
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of LimpopoSovengaSouth Africa

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