Lynae Darbes

New Challenges in HIV Prevention for Gay Male Couples

As HIV research and prevention efforts increasingly target gay men in relationships, situational factors such as couple serostatus and agreements about sex become central to examinations of risk. Discordant gay couples are of particular interest because the risk of HIV infection is seemingly near-at-hand. Yet, little is known about their sexual behaviors, agreements about sex, and safer sex efforts. The present study utilized longitudinal semi-structured, qualitative interviews to explore these issues among 12 discordant couples.

Couples in Context: An RCT of Couples-Based HIV Prevention Intervention

This project has two primary aims: 1. Identify barriers and facilitators for heterosexual couples pertaining to utilizing couples-based voluntary counseling and testing (CBVCT) in Soweto, South Africa 2. 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.

Couples-Based Voluntary Counseling and Testing and HIV Prevention in South Africa

This project has two primary aims:
  1. Identify barriers and facilitators for heterosexual couples pertaining to utilizing couples-based voluntary counseling and testing (CBVCT) in Soweto, South Africa
  2. 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.

Duo Project: Relationship Factors and HIV Treatment Adherence

The DUO Project investigates how relationship factors are associated with adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART). Based on recruitment feasibility and the epidemiology of the HIV epidemic in the San Francisco area, HIV+ seroconcordant and serodiscordant male couples are included in the study’s three phases:
  • Phase 1. We conducted a qualitative investigation of relationship dynamics and partner tactics related to HIV medication adherence.
  • Phase 2.

Gay Couples Study

The Gay Couples Study Continuation is a five year longitudinal study that seeks to identify and examine relationship dynamics in gay couples and how those dynamics affect sexual risk behaviors with primary and outside partners. Relationship dynamics include issues such as communication style, power dynamics, interpersonal relations, and agreements around sex. Other objectives include exploring broken agreements, internal (or safety) agreements, and HIV testing rates for gay couples.