Sexual communication among married couples in the context of a microbicide clinical trial and acceptability study in Pune, India

Heather M. Marlow, Elizabeth E. Tolley, Rewa Kohli, Sanjay Mehendale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Previous research in India indicates that there is little communication within marriage about sex. Lack of communication about safe sexual behaviours may increase couples' vulnerability to HIV. This study explores couple level sexual communication and socio-cultural norms that influence couples' communication about sex and its implications for HIV prevention. Data derive from in-depth interviews at two points in time with 10 couples. Secondary qualitative analyses of the interviews were conducted using inductive and deductive coding techniques. Half of the couples described improved communication about sex and HIV and AIDS after participation in the clinical trial and/or acceptability study, as well as increased sexual activity, improved relationships by alleviating doubts about their partner's fidelity and forgiving their partners. The findings show that creating safe spaces for couples where they can ask frank questions about HIV and AIDS, sex and sexuality potentially can improve couples' communication about sex and reduce their risk for HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)899-912
Number of pages14
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Volume12
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Couples
  • HIV/AIDS
  • India
  • Microbicide
  • Sexual communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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