Factors influencing marital stability among HIV discordant couples in northern Thailand

A. Tangmunkongvorakul, David D. Celentano, J. G. Burke, M. A. De Boer, P. Wongpan, V. Suriyanon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The burden of HIV in stable relationships placed emotional, economic and physical stresses on families. We compared the influence of HIV notification on marital partnerships in northern Thailand among a cohort of HIV discordant couples, and identified factors associated with marital disruption. Data were collected using in-depth interviews with both members of six separated or divorced couples and 13 couples whose relationship remained intact. Five factors influenced marital stability following HIV notification: longer duration of relationship; economic constraints, extended family members' opinions, especially parents; the existence of children from the marriage; and fear of stigmatization by community members. Social influences, both overt and perceived, are important in shaping marital behaviour and decision-making in HIV epidemic areas. HIV counselling needs to be extended beyond the individual seeking testing to included stable partners (and perhaps further, to include the extended family), although it is recognized that this is not the norm for most HIV testing centres.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-524
Number of pages14
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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