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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Prevalence and correlates of HIV discordance and concordance among Chinese–Burmese mixed couples in the Dehong prefecture of Yunnan province, China

Song Duan A , Yingying Ding B , Yuecheng Yang A , Lin Lu C , Jiangping Sun D , Ning Wang D , Lu Wang D , Lifen Xiang A , Manhong Jia C , Zunyou Wu D and Na He B E

A Dehong Prefecture Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Mangshi 678400, Yunnan Province, China.

B Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Fudan University and The Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety of Ministry of Education, Shanghai 200032, China.

C Yunnan Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Kunming 650034, China.

D National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Diseases Control and Prevention, Beijing 100050, China.

E Corresponding author. Email: nhe@shmu.edu.cn

Sexual Health 9(5) 481-487 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SH12065
Submitted: 4 May 2012  Accepted: 1 August 2012   Published: 15 October 2012

Abstract

Background: Many people from Burma have migrated to Dehong prefecture and married local residents during the past decades; however, little is known about HIV risk-taking behaviours and HIV prevalence among these mixed couples. We investigated factors correlated with HIV discordance and concordance within Chinese–Burmese mixed couples in Dehong prefecture, Yunnan province, China. Methods: A cross-sectional study with face-to-face questionnaire interviews and HIV blood testing was conducted. Results: Of 5742 couples, 1.6% couples were HIV-infected concordant, 2.2% were HIV serodiscordant with an HIV-infected male spouse and 0.9% were HIV serodiscordant with an HIV-infected female spouse. HIV discordance with an HIV-infected male spouse was significantly associated with characteristics of the male spouse, including being aged ≥30 years, non-Han ethnic minority, a marital relationship of <3 years, commercial sex and injection drug use by the male spouse. HIV discordance with an HIV-infected female spouse was significantly associated with an education level of primary school (v. illiterate); a marital status of being in their second marriage, widowed or divorced; a history of sexually transmissible infection diagnosis of the female spouse; noncommercial extramarital sex by the female spouse or by both spouses; and injection drug use by the male spouse. A marital relationship of ≥3 years was the only significant independent correlate of HIV-infected seroconcordance. Conclusions: The study findings underscore the importance of premarital HIV counselling and testing for this population, and the need for targeted interventions among HIV serodiscordant mixed couples to reduce secondary transmission as early as possible when the relationship begins.

Additional keywords: Burmese spouse, HIV infection, risk factors, seroconcordance.


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