Sex after ART: sexual partnerships established by HIV-infected persons taking anti-retroviral therapy in Eastern Uganda

Seeley, J; Russell, S; Khana, K; Ezati, E; King, R; Bunnell, R; (2009) Sex after ART: sexual partnerships established by HIV-infected persons taking anti-retroviral therapy in Eastern Uganda. Culture, health & sexuality, 11 (7). pp. 703-716. ISSN 1369-1058 DOI:

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This paper explores the social contexts that influence the formation and nature of sexual partnerships among people on anti-retroviral therapy (ART). We draw on the findings of a qualitative, longitudinal study of 70 people (36 women and 34 men) who have been participating in a home-based ART programme for over three years in Eastern Uganda. Since initiating ART, 32 (18 men and 14 women) participants reported having had a new partner. Five participants (4 men and 1 woman) renewed relationships with spouses with whom they had been prior to starting ART. Overall, 37 of the 70 participants had had a sexual partner after starting ART. Companionship, material support, social and cultural norms, as well as a desire for sex and children, are drivers of new relationships. The opportunity that ART brings for people to get on with their lives brings with it a reinstatement into a social world that places a value on marriage and child-bearing. The sexual rights of those living with HIV and on ART need to be taken seriously and safer sex facilitated.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, drug therapy, epidemiology, Adult, Anti-Retroviral Agents, therapeutic use, Catchment Area (Health), Female, HIV Infections, drug therapy, epidemiology, Health Behavior, Homosexuality, Male, statistics & numerical data, Humans, Male, Risk-Taking, Sexual Behavior, Social Support, Uganda, epidemiology, Young Adult
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
PubMed ID: 19544115
Web of Science ID: 274742800003


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