Document Type

Article

Department

School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa

Abstract

Tanzania is among the countries with high prevalence of HIV prevalence in the World. Despite the fact that the epidemic has been, and still is a threat to persons of all ages, recent studies have suggested that most new infections occur among couples in stable relationships. Infected couples are categorised into two: the positive concordant, where both the partners are HIV positive; and sero-discordant couples, where one partner is HIV positive while the other is negative. Recently, researchers and many other stake-holders working on the HIV/AIDS epidemic have given a remarkable attention to this astonishing reality. For instance one study in East and Southern Africa indicates that there are great variations of discordancy varying from 36% to 85%, with an overall rate of 49%. HIV couple sero-discordancy is responsible for varied levels of psychological distress including heightened levels of anxiety, poor emotional adaptation and increased or excessive substance use, most often coupled with exclusion and social isolation within family and in the neighbourhood. However, to date the influence of sero-discordancy on family and couple relationship functioning and how it differs from that among concordant couples remains elusive. Discordancy have been associated with more difficulties as compared to the seroconverted couples, these include relationship and emotional disturbances, sexual contact distancing, marital separation and disruptions. The Lazarus and Folkman’s (1984)'s Transactional Model can be helpful in understanding individuals with HIV discordancy on their emotional response, coping strategies and the ultimate decisions towards their marital relationships fate.

Publication

ARC Journal of Public Health and Community Medicine

Included in

Nursing Commons

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