Maintenance of safe sex behavior by HIV-serodiscordant heterosexual couples

Joan H. Skurnick, Judith Abrams, Cheryl A. Kennedy, Suzanne N. Valentine, Janice R. Cordell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


We present findings from a prospective study of heterosexual HIV transmission in stable New Jersey couples who are serodiscordant for HIV and in which the uninfected partner is at risk solely from heterosexual contact. One hundred thirty-one couples were interviewed at enrollment and 6-month follow-up. This report describes couples' sexual behavior before and after knowledge of infective risk and examines associations of behavior with clinical and demographic characteristics. We observed that HIV serodiscordant couples' habitual sexual practices, drug and alcohol use, and measure of psychological distress may predict difficulty in adopting and maintaining safe sex. An understanding of common risky sexual behavior patterns and characteristic correlates of risk taking may prove useful for counseling individuals at risk and their infected partners and may contribute to the development of effective public health messages targeted to eliminate unsafe sexual contact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-505
Number of pages13
JournalAIDS Education and Prevention
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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