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Decisions, decisions: the importance of condom use decision making among HIV sero-discordant couples in a prospective cohort study in Uganda
  1. Katherine A Muldoon1,2,
  2. Putu K Duff1,2,
  3. Josephine Birungi3,
  4. Moses H Ngolobe3,
  5. Jeong Eun Min1,
  6. Rachel King4,5,
  7. Maureen Nyonyintono3,
  8. Yalin Chen1,
  9. Kate Shannon1,2,6,
  10. Sarah Khanakwa3,
  11. David Moore1,6
  1. 1British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  2. 2School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  3. 3The AIDS Support Organisation, Kampala, Uganda
  4. 4University of California, San Francisco, California, USA
  5. 5Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  6. 6Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, St Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to K A Muldoon, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6Z 1Y6; kmuldoon{at}


Objectives We examined sexual decision making type among couples in HIV sero-discordant partnerships in Uganda, and investigated how sexual decision making type changed over time and its effect on condom use.

Methods Data were drawn from a longitudinal cohort of HIV sero-discordant couples, recruited through the AIDS Support Organisation in Jinja, Uganda. Sexual decision making was measured using the Sexual Relationship Power Scale, and couples’ individual self-report answers were matched to assess agreement for decision making type and condom use. Generalised linear mixed effects modelling was used to assess statistically significant differences in time trend of sexual decision making type, and to investigate the independent association of decision making type on condom use status over time.

Results Of the 533 couples included in this analysis, 345 (65%) reported using condoms at last sex at study enrolment. In the time trend analysis of decision making, the proportion of couples who decided together increased over time while the proportions of couples who reported that one partner decided or no one decided/did not use condoms, decreased over time (overall p<0.001). Compared with couples who decided together, those who disagreed (adjusted OR=0.42, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.64) and those where one partner decided (adjusted OR=0.20, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.34) had significantly lower odds of condom use at last sex, even after controlling for confounders.

Conclusions Couples who disagreed on decision making, or agreed that one partner decides alone, had significantly lower odds of reporting condom use compared with couples who decided together. HIV counselling interventions that encourage joint sexual decision making may improve condom use within this population.

  • HIV
  • Condoms
  • Communication Skills
  • Gender
  • Sexual Behaviour

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