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A South African Couple-Based HIV Prevention Program

Preliminary Evidence of the Long-Term Effects

Belus, Jennifer M. PhD*; Baucom, Donald H. PhD; Carney, Tara PhD; Carrino, Emily A. BA; Wechsberg, Wendee M. PhD

Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care: November-December 2019 - Volume 30 - Issue 6 - p 648–657
doi: 10.1097/JNC.0000000000000074
Research Article

The goal of our study was to provide qualitative data on the long-term effects of a couple-based HIV prevention program, the Couples Health Co-Op (CHC), in South Africa. Qualitative focus group discussions were conducted with nonrandomly selected Black South African men (n = 27) and women (n = 23) who had participated in the Couples Health Co-Op 4 to 6 years prior to our study. The study evaluated: (a) salient content and skills learned, (b) long-term changes and challenges, and (c) recommendations for intervention improvement. Findings revealed (a) communication/problem-solving, safe sexual behaviors, and negative effects of alcohol were most salient; (b) long-term changes occurred in communication and healthier sexual behavior; alcohol use remained challenging; and (c) participants recommended continuing the couple format and suggested targeting teenage couples. We offer preliminary evidence of the strengths and weaknesses of the Couples Health Co-Op and provide a basis for future studies to build on these results.

Jennifer M. Belus, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA. Donald H. Baucom, PhD, is a Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA. Tara Carney, PhD, is a Specialist Scientist, Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Abuse Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Tygerberg, South Africa. Emily A. Carrino, BA, is a Research Assistant, Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Wendee M. Wechsberg, PhD, is the Director, Substance Use, Gender and Applied Research, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA.

Corresponding author: Jennifer M. Belus, e-mail:

Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.

© 2019 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
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