Date of Award

7-1-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name

M.A.

International affairs and development

First Advisor

Dr. Art Hansen

Abstract

Most daily transmissions of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in sub-Saharan Africa occur among couples. Current interventions targeting women and men, separately, do not effectively address issues of power imbalance and couple communication that contribute to couples' VIlinerability to HIV.

The purpose of this research is to determine the existing level of couple communication in sub-Saharan Africa and to establish the feasibility of applying a couple-based HIV prevention approach in this region.

A meta-analysis revealed that a couple-based approach has a medium effect on couples' sexual behavior. Interviews with couples and key informants in Niger suggested that couple communication and power dynamics are influenced by socio-cultural factors.

Recommendations included: further research into partner communication among various population groups in multiple sub-Saharan African contexts; targeting couple-based interventions at youth in order to achieve sustainable results; and influencing policy to promote sexual dialogue in schools and through national initiatives focused on HIV. the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

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