Who knows their partner's HIV status? Results from a nationally representative survey in Uganda

Christopher Kenyon, Wilford Kirungi, Frank Kaharuza, Jozefien Buyze, Rebecca Bunnell

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: We examine the extent to which Ugandans accurately know their HIV status and that of their partners.

METHODS: The 2011 Uganda AIDS Indicator Survey (UAIS) was a nationally representative study of 15-59 year olds that tested 21,366 individuals for HIV. We compared self-reported HIV status with UAIS-determined HIV status for respondents. We were able to link 3285 couples in the survey, and in this group, we compared the reported HIV status of partners with that determined by UAIS. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with inaccurate knowledge of HIV status.

RESULTS: An estimated 55.8% of adult Ugandans reported having had an HIV test. Of 1495 HIV-infected Ugandans, 59.1% were unaware of their HIV infection. Among 3285 linked couples in this analysis, 273 couples (8.3%) had at least 1 infected partner, with 96 couples (2.9%) having both members infected and the remaining 177 couples (5.4%) being HIV discordant. This meant that 369 persons in the linked couple group had an HIV-infected partner. One hundred ten (29.8%) of this group knew that their partner was HIV infected. In multiple logistic regression analysis, accurately knowing that ones partner was HIV infected was strongly associated with couple HIV testing [adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 4.3, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.2 to 8.4] and reporting oneself to be HIV positive versus reporting HIV negative (AOR: 7.3, 95% CI: 3.8 to 14.3) or HIV status unknown (AOR: 30.6, 95% CI: 3.8 to 263.4).

CONCLUSIONS: Respondents may be reporting the HIV status of their partners based on their own HIV status. Campaigns to inform people about the prevalence of serodiscordance in conjunction with further promotion of couple counseling may help increase the proportion of Ugandans who know their own HIV status and that of their partners.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)92-97
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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