Impact of Antiretroviral therapy on risky sexual behaviour of people living with HIV/AIDS on ART in Mansa

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Makukula, Abby
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The use of ART has transformed HIV/AIDS into a chronic manageable condition among infected individuals. However, its use has raised concerns that it will increase the risky sexual behaviour among PLWHA on ART. ART enhances the health and longevity of HIV infected persons. This is accompanied most likely by greater sexual activity among this group, consequently fuelling the opportunity for the spread of HIV and the worsening of the pandemic. Studies on risky sexual behaviour of PLWHA on ART have reported as high as one-third PLWHA on ART engaging in risky sexual behaviour. This has been argued to be significant to be ignored (Crepaz et al. 2004, Rio de, 2004). Zambian government introduced ART programme in public health institutions in 2003, and currently has about 65,000 clients on ART. Their risky sexual behaviour pattern has not been investigated. This study was conducted to investigate the risky sexual behaviour practices of PLWHA on ART accessing treatment from Mansa General Hospital. To determined the impact of ART on the risky sexual behaviour practice among PLWHA on ART. To compare the following outcomes; socio-demographic characteristics, HIV related medical outcomes, perceptions on ART and risky sexual behaviour practices between PLWHA on ART and those not on ART. A retrospective cohort study conducted at Mansa General Hospital in Mansa and University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka. A total of 119 PLWHA on ART and 111 PLWHA not on ART were recruited through a convenient sampling method. The data was collected using a structured questionnaire and analysed using SPSS version 11.0 and EPI 6 software. Chi square test was used to determine association between variables of interest. A result yielding a p-value of 0.05 or less was considered significant. Relative risk was reported to determine the degree of risk of engaging in risky sexual behaviour on ART.
Antiretroviral Therapy