Marriage, monogamy and HIV: a profile of HIV-infected women in south India

Newmann S, Edwin Amalraj Raja, Sarin P, Kumarasamy N, Rogers M

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A retrospective study was conducted on 134 HIV-infected females evaluated at an HIV/AIDS centre in south India to characterize their sociodemographics, HIV risk factors and initial clinical presentations. The mean age was 29 years; 81% were housewives; 95% were currently or previously married; 89% reported heterosexual sex as their only HIV risk factor; and 88% reported a history of monogamy. The majority were of reproductive age, thus the potential for vertical transmission of HIV and devastating impacts on families is alarming. Nearly half of these women initially presented asymptomatically implying that partner recruitment can enable early HIV detection. Single partner heterosexual sex with their husband was the only HIV risk factor for the majority of women. HIV prevention and intervention strategies need to focus on married, monogamous Indian women whose self-perception of HIV risk may be low, but whose risk is inextricably linked to the behaviour of their husbands.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-253
JournalInternational Journal of STD & AIDS
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2000


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