Researcher: Sibongile Mashaphu

Designation: Part time Psychiatry Lecturer

Study: Serodiscordant Couples

Summary: The research focuses on the psychological impact of living in an HIV serodiscordant relationship – where one partner is HIV positive and the other is negative.  This couple type is a challenge both for the couple as well as the health care providers because these relationships are often riddled with stress, anxiety, fear and concern.

The study found that the most disturbing challenges of existing in a mixed status relationship were physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, fear of contracting or transmitting the virus, concerns about child bearing, and caring for the infected partner and anticipated grief.