Introduction A survey was conducted in the three regions of Russia, Orel, Bryansk and Voronezh from 2008 to 2012. 64 HIV-negative partners living more than a year in a HIV discordant-couple relationship were enrolled in the survey. The main purpose of the survey was to assess the disparities of medical services for discordant couples over a four year period.
Method survey/questionnaire. Participants were collected from a social networking structure and support groups.
Results The majority of the discordant couples did not receive complete health services. 72% of the discordant couples had consultation for prevention of HIV transmission with their gynocologists, but only 38% had consultation about family planning. The medical providers can generally advice on common HIV prevention, but are not equipped with specialty advice and communication tools. For example, 86% of discordant couples tell their gynocologists that they use condoms. When speaking openly with peer-consultants, the expression of condom use decreased to 23%.
Today, 74% of them have ceased to be discordant because the HIV negative partner seroconverted. Out of the 74%, 13% of the relationships ended.
In general the Russian health care system has difficulties training professionals about HIV prevention and treatment. Not only are doctors not trained with comprehensive information, but communication is limited. The average conversation with a doctor is only 12 minutes. Only 47% of discordant couples have the opportunity to go to the doctor for important recommendations once a week. Only 26% of the couples had the possibility to access emergency medical advice. Services are critical at the moment of an immediate engagement with a risk behaviour.
- Managing partnerships and networks
- Structural interventions and services
- Surveillance systems and methods