This project has two primary aims:
- Identify barriers and facilitators for heterosexual couples pertaining to utilizing couples-based voluntary counseling and testing (CBVCT) in Soweto, South Africa
- Identify relationship-based predictors of HIV risk behavior in couples (e.g., communication, intimacy, commitment, etc.).
The study is comprised of two phases. The first phase was qualitative in nature, and focused on obtaining information from men and women regarding their relationships and their perceptions and attitudes about couples-based testing for HIV. Both individual interviews and focus groups were conducted (N=48, 16 couples in individual interviews and eight couples in focus groups). Data collection was completed for this phase in February of 2006.
The second phase was a cross-sectional quantitative study of predictors of HIV risk behavior and of utilizing couples-based testing among a sample of 220 couples. The survey included questions about relationship dynamics, such as trust and communication, as well as social norms regarding HIV testing. This project finished data collection in December of 2008. The research is based at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and the Perinatal HIV Research Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.