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

Janet Seeley, Steve Russell, Kenneth Khana, Enoch Ezati, Rachel King, Rebecca Bunnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-716
Number of pages14
JournalCulture, Health & Sexuality
Volume11
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009

Keywords

  • HIV and AIDS
  • anti-retroviral therapy
  • sexual behaviour
  • Uganda

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