SHCS Partner Study

Sexual behavior in HIV concordant and discordant partnerships within the Swiss HIV Cohort Study

Dunja Nicca; Kantonsspital St. Gallen; Inselspital Bern; and the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS)Zusammenarbeit mit: University Hospital of Basel (USB); University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV); University Hospital of Zurich (USZ); University Hospital of Geneva (HUG); Nephrology

2010 bis 2013

The Swiss HIV Cohort Study regularly follows more than 4000 HIV positive patients who live in a stable partnership, approximately 900 of whom have a positive partner. Unfortunately, no information is obtained on any of these stable partners.The primary goal of this cross sectional pilot study is to test the feasibility of the inclusion of stable partners into the cohort study. In addition, the inclusion of partners will open the opportunity to gain information on characteristics, sexual behaviour and HIV-status of partners.
During 6 months all patients attending a follow-up cohort visit and having a stable partner will be asked to hand over written study information and an invitation for a clinical visit to their partner. Participating partners will have a blood sample drawn, fill in a questionnaire on sexual risk behaviour and have a rapid HIV test (if not confirmed seropositive). All participants will receive a standardized short prevention intervention that has been developed and tested in St.Gallen in collaboration with the federal office of public health.
The inclusion of partners within the SHCS can open the arena for a large number of studies on HIV transmission, including genetic, virologic and behavioural factors resulting in transmission or non-transmission. In addition it provides an opportunity to improve the quality of care with a particular focus on improving secondary prevention efforts in HIV-positive individuals and their partners.