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1.  Sexual dysfunction and sexual quality of life among the physically challenged in the Kumasi metropolis, Ghana 
Despite the fact that the physically disabled have difficulties in many aspects of their lives, including sexuality, society often ignores these needs or assume that they have no such needs. This cross-sectional study therefore seeks to determine the prevalence of sexual dysfunction (SD) and its impact on the quality of life among persons with physical disability residing in the Kumasi metropolis, Ghana.
This study was conducted among 235 persons with physical disability dwelling in communities within the Kumasi metropolis, Ghana between September 2011 and April 2012. All participants were evaluated by using a semi-structured questionnaire, the Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS) questionnaire and the Sexual Quality of Life questionnaire (SQoL). Self-designed semi-structured questionnaire was also administered to each consented study participant for socio-demographic information.
The response rates were 72% and 63.6% for male and female respectively. The age range of the male was 19–74 years with 61.1% being married whilst the age range of the female was 20–66 years with 54.3% being married. 30% and 7.1% of the male and female respectively consumed alcohol beverage. The mean Sexual quality of life (SQoL) score was slightly higher in the females (57.7 ± 15.8), ranging from 25.6 to 97.8. Univariate analysis of the male data showed that the only significant factor that tends to increase the male SD was alcohol (OR: 24.6; CI: 1.4 - 14.9; p = 0.0071). The prevalence of SD was higher among the female populace (65.7%) compared to the 64.4% for the male populace though very closely comparable. Except for non-communication (NC) and anorgasmia (impotence in males), all other areas of difficulty had higher percentages in males than females.
The prevalence of sexual dysfunction among the physically challenged is comparable to prevalence rates in the able male and female population. This could impact significantly on their self-esteem and quality of life via avoidance, impotence and vaginismus thereby causing emotional distress leading to relationship problems. Alcohol increases the risk of developing SD by five-fold in physically challenged men.
PMCID: PMC4311510  PMID: 25608611
2.  Incidence of sexual dysfunction: a prospective survey in Ghanaian females 
Sexuality is a complex phenomenon that is being influenced by psychological as well as physiological factors. Its dysfunction includes desire, arousal, orgasmic and sex pain disorders. The present study aimed to assess the incidence of sexual dysfunction (SD) and related risk factors in a cohort of Ghanaian women.
The Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS) was administered to 400 healthy women between 18 and 58 years old (mean +/- SD: 30.1 +/- 7.9) domiciled in the Kumasi metropolis.
The response rate was 75.3% after 99 were excluded. Of the remaining 301 women, 50% were engaged in exercise, 26.7% indulge in alcoholic beverages and only 2% were smokers. A total of 62.1% of the women had attained high education, whilst, 28.9% were married. After logistic regression analysis, alcohol emerged (OR: 2.0; CI: 1.0 - 3.8; p = 0.04) as the main risk factor for SD. The overall prevalence of SD in these subjects was 72.8%. Severe difficulties with sexual function were identified in 3.3% of the studied population. The most prevalent areas of difficulty were anorgasmia (72.4%), sexual infrequency (71.4%), dissatisfaction (77.7%), vaginismus (68.1%), avoidance of sexual intercourse (62.5%), non-sensuality (61.5%) and non-communication (54.2%). Whereas 8% had severe difficulties with anorgasmia, only 6% had severe difficulties with vaginismus.
SD affects more than 70% of Ghanaian women who are sexually active. Alcohol significantly influences sexual activity.
PMCID: PMC2936896  PMID: 20809943
3.  Determinants of sexual dysfunction among clinically diagnosed diabetic patients 
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that can result in various medical, psychological and sexual dysfunctions (SD) if not properly managed. SD in men is a common under-appreciated complication of diabetes. This study assessed the prevalence and determinants of SD among diabetic patients in Tema, Greater Accra Region of Ghana.
Sexual functioning was determined in 300 consecutive diabetic men (age range: 18-82 years) visiting the diabetic clinic of Tema General Hospital with the Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS) questionnaire, between November, 2010 and March, 2011. In addition to the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants, the level of glycosylated haemoglobin, fasting blood sugar (FBS) and serum testosterone were assessed. All the men had a steady heterosexual relationship for at least 2 years before enrolment in the study.
Out the 300 participants contacted, the response rate was 91.3% after 20 declined participation and 6 incomplete data were excluded All the respondents had at least basic education, 97.4% were married, 65.3% were known hypertensive, 3.3% smoked cigarettes, 27% took alcoholic beverages and 32.8% did some form of exercise. The 69.3% SD rate observed in this study appears to be related to infrequency (79.2%), non-sensuality (74.5%), dissatisfaction with sexual acts (71.9%), non-communication (70.8%) and impotence (67.9%). Other areas of sexual function, including premature ejaculation (56.6%) and avoidance (42.7%) were also substantially affected. However, severe SD was seen in only 4.7% of the studied population. The perceived "adequate", "desirable", "too short" and "too long intra-vaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) are 5-10, 5-10, 1-2 and 15-30 minutes respectively. Testosterone correlates negatively with glycated haemoglobin (HBA1c), FBS, perceived desirable, too short IELT, and weight as well as waist circumference.
SD rate from this study is high but similar to that reported among self-reported diabetic patients in Kumasi, Ghana and vary according to the condition and age. The determinants of SD from this study are income level, exercise, obesity, higher perception of "desirable" and "too short" IELT.
PMCID: PMC3118328  PMID: 21612653
4.  Prevalence and related factors for anorgasmia among reproductive aged women in Hesarak, Iran 
Clinics  2011;66(1):83-86.
Orgasmic dysfunction in women is characterized by persistent or recurrent delay in or absence of orgasm following a normal sexual excitement phase. Research has shown that almost two thirds of women have concerns about their sexual relationship. Sexual dysfunction has many problems for couples; some researchers found that up to 67% of divorces related to sexual disorders.
The aim of this cross‐sectional study was to assess the prevalence and related factors of anorgasmia among reproductive age Iranian women.
This study was conducted in 2006–7 in Hesarak, Karaj, Iran. A total of 1200 women were randomly recruited to the study. Sexual satisfaction questions were prepared according to the Enrich Sexual Satisfaction Questionnaire. Orgasms were assessed according to the relevant questions in the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 11; Chi‐square, Mann–Whitney and independent t‐test were used for statistical purposes.
This study showed that the prevalence of anorgasmia among Iranian women in Hesarak, Karaj, was 26.3%. There was a significant difference between the anorgasmic and normal orgasm groups regarding the women's age, age at marriage, duration of marriage and education during puberty (p<0.05). Some psychological factors, e.g. anxiety, fatigue, pain, feeling of guilt, anti‐masculine feelings and embarrassment in sexual relationships were higher in the anorgasmic group (p<0.001).
The results of this study showed that the prevalence of anorgasmia in Hesarak is high and most of the anorgasmic women were highly unsatisfied with their sexual relationship compared to the normal orgasm group.
The prevalence of anorgasmia among Iranian women in Hesarak, Karaj, is high and some socio‐demographic and psychological factors have a strong relationship with anorgasmia.
PMCID: PMC3044590  PMID: 21437441
Anorgasmia; Psychological factors; Sexual satisfaction; Sexual orgasm; Reproductive age
5.  Marriage, Sex, and Hydrocele: An Ethnographic Study on the Effect of Filarial Hydrocele on Conjugal Life and Marriageability from Orissa, India 
Lymphatic filariasis (LF), a leading cause of permanent and long-term disability, affects 120 million people globally. Hydrocele, one of the chronic manifestations of LF among 27 million people worldwide, causes economic and psychological burdens on patients and their families. The present study explores and describes the impact of hydrocele on sexual and marital life as well as on marriageability of hydrocele patients from rural areas of Orissa, an eastern state of India.
Methodology/Principal Findings
This paper is based on ethnographic data collected through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with hydrocele patients, wives of hydrocele patients, and other participants from the community. The most worrisome effect of hydrocele for patients and their wives was the inability to have a satisfactory sexual life. The majority of patients (94%) expressed their incapacity during sexual intercourse, and some (87%) reported pain in the scrotum during intercourse. A majority of hydrocele patients' wives (94%) reported dissatisfaction in their sexual life. As a result of sexual dissatisfaction and physical/economic burden, communication has deteriorated between the couples and they are not living happily. This study also highlights the impact on marriageability. The wives of hydrocele patients said that a hydrocele patient is the “last choice” and that girls show reluctance to marry hydrocele patients. In some cases, the patients were persuaded by their wives to remove hydrocele by surgery (hydrocelectomy).
The objective of the morbidity management arm of the Global Programme to Eliminate LF should be to increase access to hydrocelectomy, as hydrocelectomy is the recommended intervention. Though the study area is covered by the programme, like in other endemic areas, hydrocelectomy has not been emphasised by the national LF elimination programme. The policy makers and programme managers should be sensitised by utilising this type of research finding.
Author Summary
Lymphatic filariasis, the second leading cause of permanent and long-term disability, affects 120 million people globally. Hydrocele, an accumulation of fluid in the scrotum that causes it to swell, is one of the chronic manifestations of LF among men and there are about 27 million men with hydrocele worldwide. We conducted ethnographic interviews and discussions with patients, women whose husbands have hydrocele, and the general public in a rural community of eastern India. The study describes how hydrocele impacts patients' sexual and marital life. It reveals the most worrisome effect of hydrocele for patients and their wives due to the inability to have a satisfactory sexual life. Patients expressed their incapacity during sexual intercourse. A majority of hydrocele patients' wives reported that their married life became burdened and couples were not living happily. This study also highlights the impact on marriageability, and some women expressed that a hydrocele patient is the “last choice”. In some cases, the patients were persuaded by their wives to remove hydrocele by surgery (hydrocelectomy). Hence, access to hydrocelectomy has to be strengthened under the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis, which is operational in several endemic areas in the world. Also, this activity may be integrated with primary healthcare services and interventions of other neglected tropical diseases.
PMCID: PMC2666802  PMID: 19381283
6.  Sexual dysfunction among Ghanaian men presenting with various medical conditions 
Several medical conditions can affect and disrupt human sexuality. The alteration of sexuality in these medical conditions often hinder effective communication and empathy between the patients and their sexual partners because of cultural attitudes, social norms and negative feelings such as anxiety and guilt. Validated and standardized sexual inventories might therefore help resolve this problem. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to obtain data on the prevalence of male sexual dysfunction (SD) among Ghanaians with various medical conditions residing in Kumasi.
The Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS) was administered to 150 Ghanaian men with various medical conditions between 19 and 66 years old (mean ± standard deviation: 40.01 ± 12.32 years) domiciled in the Kumasi metropolis.
Out of the total 150 questionnaires administered, 105 (70.0%) men returned the questionnaires. Questionnaires from 3 men were incomplete, leaving 102 complete and evaluable questionnaires, indicating a 68.0% response rate. Of the remaining 102 men, 88.2% were married, 70.6% had attained higher education, 88.2% were non-smokers. Whereas 54.9% were engaged in exercise, 61.8% indulged in alcoholic beverages. The prevalence of the various medical conditions include: diabetes (18%), hypertension (24.5%), migraine (11.8%), ulcer (7.8%), surgery (6.9%), STD (3.9) and others (26.5%). The prevalence of SD among the respondents in the study was 59.8%. The highest prevalence of SD was seen among ulcer patients (100%), followed by patients who have undergone surgery (75%), diabetes (70%), hypertension (50%), STD (50%) and the lowest was seen among migraine patients (41.7%).
SD rate is high among Ghanaian men with medical conditions (about 60%) and vary according to the condition and age.
PMCID: PMC2964537  PMID: 20942960
7.  Hepatitis B seromarkers, hepatitis C antibody, and risk behaviors in married couples, a bordered province of western Thailand 
Hepatitis Monthly  2011;11(4):273-277.
Married couples constitute a target group for reducing the risk of infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV).
This study attempted to assess HBV seromarkers, anti-HCV-positive rates, and risk behaviors among married couples in a bordered province of western Thailand.
Materials and Methods
A cross-sectional study of 114 married couples aged 15-44 years was performed. Approximately 25-30 married couples were randomly selected from 4 districts in a province of western Thailand. All study participants who participated voluntarily were interviewed using structured questionnaires. Their blood specimens were collected to screen for HBV seromarkers (HBsAg, anti-HBs, and anti-HBc) and anti-HCV.
Approximately 21.1% of husbands and 2.6% of wives had a history of extramarital sex without using a condom; 18.4% of husbands and 4.4% of wives had tattoos; and 18.4% and 3.5%, respectively, consumed alcohol regularly. Additionally, 4.4% of husbands and 2.6% of wives had a history of sexual contact before marriage. In the serological study, 10.5% of husbands and 5.3% of wives were HBsAg-positive, and 1.8% of husbands and 0.9% of wives were anti-HCV-positive. Among HBsAg-positive subjects, 15/18 had spouses who were positive for any HBV marker, and 1 had a spouse who was HBsAg- and anti-HBc positive. Three participants were positive for anti-HCV (2 males and 1 female). One anti-HCV-positive male had a history of regular alcohol consumption and extramarital sex without a condom, and another had a history of intravenous drug use. The anti-HCV-positive female had a history of sexual contact before marriage.
This study found high percentages of risk behaviors and HBsAg positivity among married couples in a bordered province of western Thailand, especially in husbands. These findings support the evidence of HCV transmission via sexual contact and intravenous drug use.
PMCID: PMC3206700  PMID: 22087153
HCV antibodies; Risk behaviors; Sex; Spouses
8.  Sex and relationships for HIV positive women since HAART: a quantitative study 
Sexually Transmitted Infections  2005;81(4):333-337.
Objective: To investigate current levels of sexual activity, enjoyment, condom use, and other factors affecting sexual behaviour in a sample of women living with HIV.
Method: Participants were self selected. A cross sectional design using semi-structured questionnaires was employed. 82 HIV positive women completed questionnaires asking about demographics, relationships, sexual behaviour, and safer sex practices. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Golombok-Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS) were administered.
Results: 28% of women had had no sexual partners since diagnosis. Mean time diagnosed was 69 months, range 4–191 months. Time since diagnosis was not associated with having had a sexual partner. 59% of women had a current sexual partner, half reporting intercourse in the past month. Infrequent sex (84%), avoidance (84%), non-communication (69%), and dysfunction (60%) were among the most prevalent sexual difficulties. Endorsement of HIV impaired sexual enjoyment was associated with reduced sexual frequency (p = 0.006) and sexual dysfunction (p = 0.042). Sexual dissatisfaction was associated with infrequency of sex (p = 0.037), avoidance (p = 0.02), and non-communication (p = 0.032). Clinically significant levels of anxiety and depression were reported in 60% and 38% of cases, respectively. Depression was associated with avoidance of sex and higher total GRISS scores (p = 0.006 and p = 0.042). 60% of respondents stated that they "always" used condoms; a trend was observed between reduced condom use and higher levels of depression and anxiety (p = 0.09 and p = 0.06, respectively).
Conclusion: Sexual difficulties, including abstinence, were prevalent in this sample indicating the potential for interventions addressing the psychosexual needs of HIV positive women and their partners.
PMCID: PMC1745005  PMID: 16061542
9.  Prevalence of Consensual Male–Male Sex and Sexual Violence, and Associations with HIV in South Africa: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(6):e1001472.
Using a method that offered complete privacy to participants, Rachel Jewkes and colleagues conducted a survey among South African men about their lifetime same-sex experiences.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
In sub-Saharan Africa the population prevalence of men who have sex with men (MSM) is unknown, as is the population prevalence of male-on-male sexual violence, and whether male-on-male sexual violence may relate to HIV risk. This paper describes lifetime prevalence of consensual male–male sexual behavior and male-on-male sexual violence (victimization and perpetration) in two South African provinces, socio-demographic factors associated with these experiences, and associations with HIV serostatus.
Methods and Findings
In a cross-sectional study conducted in 2008, men aged 18–49 y from randomly selected households in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces provided anonymous survey data and dried blood spots for HIV serostatus assessment. Interviews were completed in 1,737 of 2,298 (75.6%) of enumerated and eligible households. From these households, 1,705 men (97.1%) provided data on lifetime history of same-sex experiences, and 1,220 (70.2%) also provided dried blood spots for HIV testing. 5.4% (n = 92) of participants reported a lifetime history of any consensual sexual activity with another man; 9.6% (n = 164) reported any sexual victimization by a man, and 3.0% (n = 51) reported perpetrating sexual violence against another man. 85.0% (n = 79) of men with a history of consensual sex with men reported having a current female partner, and 27.7% (n = 26) reported having a current male partner. Of the latter, 80.6% (n = 21/26) also reported having a female partner. Men reporting a history of consensual male–male sexual behavior are more likely to have been a victim of male-on-male sexual violence (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 7.24; 95% CI 4.26–12.3), and to have perpetrated sexual violence against another man (aOR = 3.10; 95% CI 1.22–7.90). Men reporting consensual oral/anal sex with a man were more likely to be HIV+ than men with no such history (aOR = 3.11; 95% CI 1.24–7.80). Men who had raped a man were more likely to be HIV+ than non-perpetrators (aOR = 3.58; 95% CI 1.17–10.9).
In this sample, one in 20 men (5.4%) reported lifetime consensual sexual contact with a man, while about one in ten (9.6%) reported experience of male-on-male sexual violence victimization. Men who reported having had sex with men were more likely to be HIV+, as were men who reported perpetrating sexual violence towards other men. Whilst there was no direct measure of male–female concurrency (having overlapping sexual relationships with men and women), the data suggest that this may have been common. These findings suggest that HIV prevention messages regarding male–male sex in South Africa should be mainstreamed with prevention messages for the general population, and sexual health interventions and HIV prevention interventions for South African men should explicitly address male-on-male sexual violence.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
AIDS first emerged in the early 1980s among gay men living in the US, but it soon became clear that AIDS also infects heterosexual men and women. Now, three decades on, globally, 34 million people (two-thirds of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa and half of whom are women) are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and 2.5 million people become infected every year. HIV is most often spread by having unprotected sex with an infected partner, and most sexual transmission of HIV now occurs during heterosexual sex. However, 5%–10% of all new HIV infections still occur in men who have sex with men (MSM; homosexual, bisexual, and transgender men, and heterosexual men who sometimes have consensual sex with men). Moreover, in the concentrated HIV epidemics of high-income countries (epidemics in which the prevalence of HIV infection is more than 5% in at-risk populations such as sex workers but less than 1% in the general population), male-to-male sexual contact remains the most important transmission route, and MSM often have a higher prevalence of HIV infection than heterosexual men.
Why Was This Study Done?
By contrast to high-income countries, HIV epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa are generalized—the prevalence of HIV infection is 1% or more in the general population. Because male-to-male sexual behavior is criminalized in many African countries and because homosexuality is widely stigmatized, little is known about the prevalence of consensual male–male sexual behavior in sub-Saharan Africa. This information and a better understanding of male–female sexual concurrency (having overlapping sexual relationships with men and women) and of how male-to-male transmission contributes to generalized HIV epidemics is needed to inform the design of HIV prevention strategies for use in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, very little is known about male-on-male sexual violence. Such violence is potentially important to study because we know that male-on-female violence is associated with increased HIV risk for both victims and perpetrators. In this cross-sectional study (an investigation that measures population characteristics at a single time point), the researchers use data from a population-based household survey to investigate the lifetime prevalence of consensual male–male sexual behavior and male-on-male sexual violence (victimization and perpetration) among men in South Africa and the association of these experiences with HIV infection.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
About 1,700 adult men from randomly selected households in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa self-completed a survey that included questions about their lifetime history of same-sex experiences using audio-enhanced personal digital assistants, a data collection method that provided a totally private and anonymous environment for the disclosure of illegal and stigmatized behavior; 1,220 of them also provided dried blood spots for HIV testing. Ninety-two men (5.4% of the participants) reported consensual sexual activity (for example, anal or oral sex) with another man at some time during their life; 9.6% of the men reported that they had been forced to have sex with another man (sexual victimization), and 3% reported that they had perpetrated sexual violence against another man. Most of the men who reported consensual sex with men, including those with current male partners, reported that they had a current female partner. Men with a history of consensual male–male sexual behavior were more likely to have been a victim or perpetrator of male-on-male sexual violence than men without a history of such experiences. Finally, men who reported consensual oral or anal sex with a man were more likely to be HIV+ than men without such a history, and perpetrators of male-on-male sexual violence were more likely to be HIV+ than non-perpetrators.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide new information about male–male sexual behaviors, male-on-male sexual violence, male–female concurrency, and HIV prevalence among men in two South African provinces. The precision of these findings is likely to be affected by the small numbers of men reporting a history of consensual male–male sexual behavior and of male-on-male sexual violence. Importantly, because the study was cross-sectional, these findings cannot indicate whether the association between consensual male–male sexual behaviors and increased risk of male-on-male sexual violence is causal. Moreover, these findings may not be generalizable to other regions of South Africa or to other African countries. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that information about the risks of male–male sexual behaviors should be included in HIV prevention strategies targeted at the general population in South Africa and that HIV prevention interventions for South African men should explicitly address male-on-male sexual violence. Similar HIV prevention strategies may also be suitable for other African countries, but are likely to succeed only in countries that have, like South Africa, decriminalized consensual homosexual behavior.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Jerome Singh
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
NAM/aidsmap provides basic information about HIV/AIDS, including summaries of recent research findings on HIV care and treatment
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on HIV and men who have sex with men, on HIV prevention, and on AIDS in Africa (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information about HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men (in English and Spanish)
Patient stories about living with HIV/AIDS are available through Avert; the charity website Healthtalkonline also provides personal stories about living with HIV
PMCID: PMC3708702  PMID: 23853554
10.  Sexually transmitted disease among married Zambian women: the role of male and female sexual behaviour in prevention and management. 
Genitourinary Medicine  1997;73(6):555-557.
OBJECTIVES: Few studies have evaluated the relation between male and female sexual behaviour and STD among married African women. The objectives of this study were to identify male and female sexual behaviour associated with female STD, and to explore whether incorporating male and female sexual behaviour and male symptoms can improve algorithms for STD management in married African women. METHODS: 99 married couples with one symptomatic member (58 males, 41 females) attending an STD clinic in Lusaka, Zambia were interviewed separately about sexual and contraceptive behaviour, and had physical examinations. Diagnostic tests for Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC), Trichomonas vaginalis (TV), and HIV were performed. Bivariate and multivariate odds ratios for the association between sexual behaviour and STD were calculated. Predictive algorithms based on current Zambian guidelines for management of STD in women were created. RESULTS: Among women at baseline, 10% were positive for GC, 14% for TV, 52% for HIV. Female alcohol use before sex, a male's paying for sex, and a couple's having sex unprotected by condoms or spermicides were associated with female STD. Incorporation of these behaviours along with symptoms of urethral discharge and dysuria among husbands increased the predictive ability of algorithms for management of STD in women. CONCLUSIONS: The addition of male and female sexual behaviour and male STD symptoms to diagnostic algorithms for female STD should be explored in other settings. Both husbands' and wives' behaviour independently predict STD in these women; risk reduction programmes should target both men's and women's sexual behaviour.
PMCID: PMC1195947  PMID: 9582483
11.  Sexual coercion of married women in Nepal 
BMC Women's Health  2010;10:31.
Sexual coercion is an important public health issue due to its negative association with social and health outcomes. The paper aims to examine the prevalence of sexual coercion perpetrated by husbands on their wives in Nepal and to identify the characteristics associated with this phenomenon.
The data used in this paper comes from a cross-sectional survey on "Domestic Violence in Nepal" carried out in 2009. A total of 1,536 married women were interviewed and associations between sexual coercion and the explanatory variables were assessed via bivariate analysis using Chi-square tests. Logistic regression was then applied to assess the net effect of several independent variables on sexual coercion.
Overall, about three in five women (58%) had experienced some form of sexual coercion by their husbands. Logistic regression analysis found that the literacy status of women, decision-making power regarding their own health care, husband-wife age differences, alcohol consumption by the husband, and male patriarchal control all had significant associations with women's experience of sexual coercion. Literate women had 28% less chance (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.72) of experiencing sexual coercion by their husbands than did illiterate women. Women who made decisions jointly with their husbands with regard to their own health care were 36% less likely (aOR = 0.64) to experience sexual coercion than those whose health care was decided upon by their mothers/fathers-in-law. On the other hand, women whose husbands were 5 or more years older than they were more likely to report sexual coercion (aOR = 1.33) than were their counterparts, as were women whose husbands consumed alcohol (aOR = 1.27). Furthermore, women who experienced higher levels of patriarchal control from their husbands were also more likely to experience sexual coercion by their husbands (aOR = 7.2) compared to those who did not face such control.
The study indicates that sexual coercion among married women is widespread in Nepal. Programs should focus on education and women's empowerment to reduce sexual coercion and protect women's health and rights. Furthermore, campaigns against alcohol abuse and awareness programs targeting husbands should also focus attention on the issue of sexual coercion.
PMCID: PMC2987890  PMID: 21029449
12.  Intimate Partner Violence Functions as both a Risk Marker and Risk Factor for Women’s HIV Infection: Findings from Indian Husband-Wife Dyads 
Context and Objective
Female victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) consistently demonstrate elevated STI/HIV prevalence. IPV is thought to function indirectly as a marker of abusive men’s elevated STI/HIV infection and/or directly via facilitating transmission to wives. The present examination utilizes a nationally representative sample of married Indian couples to test these mechanisms and determine whether 1) abusive husbands demonstrate higher HIV infection prevalence compared with non-abusive husbands, and 2) the risk of wives’ HIV infection based on husbands’ HIV infection varies as a function of their exposure to IPV.
Design, Setting and Participants
The Indian National Family Health Survey-3 (NFHS-3) was conducted across all Indian states in 2005-2006. Analyses were limited to 20,425 husband-wife dyads which provided both IPV data and HIV test results.
Logistic regression models estimated the odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals to evaluate the following associations: 1) husband’s HIV acquisition outside the marital relationship based on their perpetration of IPV and 2) wives’ HIV infection based on husbands’ HIV infection, as a function of their IPV exposure.
One-third (37.4%) of wives experienced IPV; 0.4% of husbands and 0.2% of wives were HIV infected. Compared with non-abusive husbands, abusive husbands demonstrated increased odds of HIV acquisition outside the marital relationship in adjusted models (AOR=1.91; 95% CI 1.11, 3.27). Husband HIV infection was associated with increased HIV risk among wives; this risk was elevated sevenfold in abusive relationships in adjusted models (AOR =7.22; 95% CI 1.05, 49.88).
Findings provide the first empirical evidence that abused wives face increased HIV risk based both on the greater likelihood of HIV infection among abusive husbands, as well elevated HIV transmission within abusive relationships. Thus, IPV appears to function both as a risk marker and as a risk factor for HIV among women, indicating the need for interwoven efforts to prevent both men’s sexual risk and IPV perpetration.
PMCID: PMC3521617  PMID: 19421070
13.  Sexual dysfunction in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: magnetic resonance imaging, clinical, and psychological correlates. 
The purpose of this study was to examine the sexual complaints and severity of sexual dysfunction in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients and to correlate them with psychological, neurological, and radiological variables. Frequency and characteristics of sexual disturbances were reported by 41 multiple sclerosis patients (32 females, 9 males; mean age 35.4 +/- 10.2 y). Clinical neurologic variables tested were disease duration, exacerbation rate, and disability; psychological variables tested were anxiety and depression. All patients underwent a brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan at the time of this study. The sexual dysfunction questionnaire included items based on the 3 phases of human sexual response: loss of libido, excitement (arousal difficulties, impotence, premature ejaculation), and anorgasmia. Five males (55.5%) and 16 females (50.0%) reported at least 1 sexual disturbance. The most frequent dysfunctions were loss of libido (26.8%) and arousal difficulties (19.5%). Females rated their difficulties as more severe. Sexual dysfunctions correlated with depression, (r = 0.68, P = 0.001). No correlation between MRI score and depression was found. Anorgasmia correlated with brain stem and pyramidal abnormalities (r = 0.56, P = 0.011; r = 0.56, P = 0.012, respectively). The total area of lesions (plaques) on the brain MRI scan also correlated with anorgasmia (r = 0.41, P = 0.02). Sexual dysfunctions in multiple sclerosis patients are frequent, are mild to moderate in severity, correlate with depression and in some cases central nervous system (CNS) demyelinating process, and thus may be related either to the psychological impact of this disease or to specific organic lesions in the brain.
PMCID: PMC1188782  PMID: 8754594
14.  Marriage and the Risk of Incident HIV infection in Rakai, Uganda 
Studies suggest that the prevalence of HIV is higher among long term marital/consensual relationships than in the unmarried. We assessed the risk of incident HIV infection by marital status in rural Rakai, Uganda.
Longitudinal data from the Rakai Community Cohort Study (RCCS) between 1999 - 2011
We estimated HIV incidence per 100 person years (py) in sexually active individuals aged 15-49 with a total of 44,179.6 person years (py) who were never married (females 2,929py, males 4,261py), currently married or in long-term consensual relationships (“currently married females 29,823py, males 21,299py) and previously married (females 3,563py, males 1,475). Poisson multivariable regression was used to estimate the unadjusted and adjusted incident rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) of HIV acquisition.
HIV incidence among currently married persons was 0.93/100py, which was lower than the never married (1.51/100py) and previously married (2.85/100py). The risk of HIV acquisition was significantly lower in the currently married compared to the never married among women (Adj IRR=0.26, 95% CI: 0.16-0.42), but not men (Adj IRR=0.69, 95% CI: 0.31-1.52). HIV incidence was lower among first marriages (0.73/100py) compared to second or higher order marriages (1.38/100py). Multiple sex partners significantly increased the risk of HIV acquisition in both women (Adj IRR=2.53, 95% CI: 1.6, 3.97) and men (Adj IRR=1.77, 95% CI: 1.20-2.60).
Current marriage especially first order marriage was associated with reduced risk of HIV acquisition in women, but not in men, and multiple sex partnerships increased HIV risk for both sexes.
PMCID: PMC3897786  PMID: 24419066
Marriage; HIV infection; Uganda
15.  Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction among Newer Antidepressants in a Naturalistic Setting 
Psychiatry Investigation  2010;7(1):55-59.
Antidepressants used to treat depression are frequently associated with sexual dysfunction. Sexual side effects affect the patient's quality of life and, in long-term treatment, can lead to non-compliance and relapse. However, studies covering many antidepressants with differing mechanisms of action were scarce. The present study assessed and compared the incidence of sexual dysfunction among different antidepressants in a naturalistic setting.
Participants were married patients diagnosed with depression, per DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, who had been taking antidepressants for more than 1 month. We assessed the participants via the Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale (ASEX), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and assessed their demographic variables, types and dosages of antidepressants, and duration of antidepressant use via their medical records.
One hundred and one patients (46 male, 55 female, age 42.2±7 years) completed the instruments. Thirteen were taking fluoxetine (mean dose 21.3±8.5 mg/day), 24 were taking paroxetine (mean dose 20.4±7.2 mg/day), 20 taking citalopram (mean dose 22.1±6.5 mg/day), 22, venlafaxine (mean dose 115.7±53.2 mg/day) and 22, mirtazapine (mean dose 18±8.7 mg/day). Mean ages, sex ratios, and BDI and STAI scores did not differ significantly across antidepressants. A substantial number of participants (46.5%, n=47) experienced sexual dysfunction. The prevalence of sexual dysfunction differed across drugs: citalopram 60% (n=12), venlafaxine 54.5% (n=12), paroxetine 54.2% (n=13), fluoxetine 46.2% (n=6), and mirtazapine 18.2% (n=4). Regression analyses revealed the significant factors for sexual dysfunction were being female, total scores on the BDI and SAI, and type of antidepressant (F=4.92, p<0.0001). Of the antidepressants, the mirtarzapine group's total ASEX score was significantly lower than the scores of the citalopram, fluoxetine, and paroxetine groups.
The incidence of sexual dysfunction was substantially high during antidepressant treatment. The incidence of sexual dysfunction differed among antidepressants having different mechanisms of action. Our study suggests the need for clinicians to consider the impact of pharmacotherapy on patients' sexual functioning in the course of treatment with antidepressants.
PMCID: PMC2848770  PMID: 20396434
Depression; Sexual dysfunction; Antidepressants
16.  Violence against wives, sexual risk and sexually transmitted infection among Bangladeshi men 
Sexually Transmitted Infections  2007;83(3):211-215.
To assess the relationship between men's reported violence against wives and their sexual risk behaviours and sexual health.
Design, setting and participants
Cross‐sectional analyses of a survey of a nationally representative household‐based sample of married men in Bangladesh (n = 3096).
Main outcome measure(s)
Physical and sexual violence against wives during the previous 12 months was assessed and examined for relations to men's extramarital sexual behaviours and sexually transmitted infection (STI) symptoms or diagnosis during this same period, as well as to men's disclosure of such infection to wives and condom use while infected.
More than 1 in 3 (36.84%) married Bangladeshi men reported physically and/or sexually abusing their wives in the past year. Men perpetrating such violence were more likely to report both premarital and extramarital sex partners (ORadjs 1.80–3.45; 95% CI 1.20 to 8.23); those reporting physical violence were more likely to report STI symptoms or diagnosis in the past year (ORadjs 1.68–2.52; 95% CI 1.24 to 3.73). Men perpetrating physical violence and contracting an STI were somewhat more likely to fail to disclose infection status to wives (ORadj 1.58; 95% CI 0.93 to 2.70) than infected men not reporting such abuse.
Violence against wives is common among Bangladeshi men. Men who perpetrate such abuse represent increased risk regarding their wives' sexual health because they are more likely to both participate in extramarital sexual behaviour and contract an STI compared with non‐abusive husbands. Given the growing epidemic of HIV infection among monogamous South Asian women based on intercourse with infected non‐monogamous husbands, research and intervention regarding men's violence in marriage and implications of such behaviour for women's sexual health should be prioritised.
PMCID: PMC2659096  PMID: 17301104
17.  The impact of HIV and high-risk behaviours on the wives of married men who have sex with men and injection drug users: implications for HIV prevention 
HIV/AIDS in India disproportionately affects women, not by their own risks, but by those of their partners, generally their spouses. We address two marginalized populations at elevated risk of acquiring HIV: women who are married to men who also have sex with men (MSM) and wives of injection drug users (IDUs).
We used a combination of focus groups (qualitative) and structured surveys (quantitative) to identify the risks that high-risk men pose to their low-risk wives and/or sexual partners. Married MSM were identified using respondent-driven recruitment in Tamil Nadu, India, and were interviewed by trainer assessors. A sample of wives of injection drug users in Chennai were recruited from men enrolled in a cohort study of the epidemiology of drug use among IDUs in Chennai, and completed a face-to-face survey. Focus groups were held with all groups of study participants, and the outcomes transcribed and analyzed for major themes on family, HIV and issues related to stigma, discrimination and disclosure.
Using mixed-methods research, married MSM are shown to not disclose their sexual practices to their wives, whether due to internalized homophobia, fear of stigma and discrimination, personal embarrassment or changing sexual mores. Married MSM in India largely follow the prevailing norm of marriage to the opposite sex and having a child to satisfy social pressures. Male IDUs cannot hide their drug use as easily as married MSM, but they also avoid disclosure. The majority of their wives learn of their drug-using behaviour only after they are married, making them generally helpless to protect themselves. Fear of poverty and negative influences on children were the major impacts associated with continuing drug use.
We propose a research and prevention agenda to address the HIV risks encountered by families of high-risk men in the Indian and other low- and middle-income country contexts.
PMCID: PMC2890976  PMID: 20573289
18.  Egalitarianism, Housework, and Sexual Frequency in Marriage 
American sociological review  2013;78(1):26-50.
Changes in the nature of marriage have spurred a debate about the consequences of shifts to more egalitarian relationships, and media interest in the debate has crystallized around claims that men who participate in housework get more sex. However, little systematic or representative research supports the claim that women, in essence, exchange sex for men’s participation in housework. Although research and theory support the expectation that egalitarian marriages are higher quality, other studies underscore the ongoing importance of traditional gender behavior and gender display in marriage. Using data from Wave II of the National Survey of Families and Households, this study investigates the links between men’s participation in core (traditionally female) and non-core (traditionally male) household tasks and sexual frequency. Results show that both husbands and wives in couples with more traditional housework arrangements report higher sexual frequency, suggesting the importance of gender display rather than marital exchange for sex between heterosexual married partners.
PMCID: PMC4273893  PMID: 25540459
gender; household labor; marriage; sexual frequency
19.  Sexual Risk Behaviour Among HIV-Positive Persons in Kumasi, Ghana 
Ghana Medical Journal  2012;46(1):27-33.
To assess the prevalence and predictors of sexual risk behaviours among HIV-positive individuals in clinical care in Kumasi, Ghana.
Cross-sectional survey of 267 (43 males and 224 females) HIV-positive individuals attending Kumasi South Regional Hospital.
An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to asses demographic and health characteristics, HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs and sexual risk behaviours.
Forty-four percent of the sample reported having sex after testing positive for HIV. Of the 175 participants with regular sex partners, 24% had HIV-positive partners. Majority (67%) had HIV-negative partners (serodiscordant couples) or partners of unknown status. More than half (51%) of the study population with regular sex partners reported that they had unprotected anal or vaginal sex. Participants who scored < 50% on the HIV/AIDS knowledge scale were 90% less likely to have used condoms during their last sexual intercourse. Disclosure of HIV status was associated with protective patterns of condom use (OR=2.2; 95% CI: 1.3–12.9). Participants on ARV were 80% less likely to have used condoms during the last sexual intercourse (OR=0.2; 95% CI: 0.04–0.6).
The high rates of sexual risk behaviour among HIV-positive individuals in this sample place others at risk of HIV infection. It also places these HIV positive individuals at risk for infection with sexually transmitted infections and super-infection with other HIV strains. These findings highlight the need to integrate HIV prevention in routine medical care in Ghana.
PMCID: PMC3353501  PMID: 22605886
HIV-seropositivity; sexual behaviour; Ghana; antiretroviral therapy; condom use
20.  Systematic Review of Abstinence-Plus HIV Prevention Programs in High-Income Countries 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(9):e275.
Abstinence-plus (comprehensive) interventions promote sexual abstinence as the best means of preventing HIV, but also encourage condom use and other safer-sex practices. Some critics of abstinence-plus programs have suggested that promoting safer sex along with abstinence may undermine abstinence messages or confuse program participants; conversely, others have suggested that promoting abstinence might undermine safer-sex messages. We conducted a systematic review to investigate the effectiveness of abstinence-plus interventions for HIV prevention among any participants in high-income countries as defined by the World Bank.
Methods and Findings
Cochrane Collaboration systematic review methods were used. We included randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials of abstinence-plus programs for HIV prevention among any participants in any high-income country; trials were included if they reported behavioural or biological outcomes. We searched 30 electronic databases without linguistic or geographical restrictions to February 2007, in addition to contacting experts, hand-searching conference abstracts, and cross-referencing papers. After screening 20,070 abstracts and 325 full published and unpublished papers, we included 39 trials that included approximately 37,724 North American youth. Programs were based in schools (10), community facilities (24), both schools and community facilities (2), health care facilities (2), and family homes (1). Control groups varied. All outcomes were self-reported. Quantitative synthesis was not possible because of heterogeneity across trials in programs and evaluation designs. Results suggested that many abstinence-plus programs can reduce HIV risk as indicated by self-reported sexual behaviours. Of 39 trials, 23 found a protective program effect on at least one sexual behaviour, including abstinence, condom use, and unprotected sex (baseline n = 19,819). No trial found adverse program effects on any behavioural outcome, including incidence of sex, frequency of sex, sexual initiation, or condom use. This suggests that abstinence-plus approaches do not undermine program messages encouraging abstinence, nor do they undermine program messages encouraging safer sex. Findings consistently favoured abstinence-plus programs over controls for HIV knowledge outcomes, suggesting that abstinence-plus programs do not confuse participants. Results for biological outcomes were limited by floor effects. Three trials assessed self-reported diagnosis or treatment of sexually transmitted infection; none found significant effects. Limited evidence from seven evaluations suggested that some abstinence-plus programs can reduce pregnancy incidence. No trial observed an adverse biological program effect.
Many abstinence-plus programs appear to reduce short-term and long-term HIV risk behaviour among youth in high-income countries. Programs did not cause harm. Although generalisability may be somewhat limited to North American adolescents, these findings have critical implications for abstinence-based HIV prevention policies. Suggestions are provided for improving the conduct and reporting of trials of abstinence-plus and other behavioural interventions to prevent HIV.
In their systematic review, Underhill and colleagues found that abstinence-plus programs appear to reduce short-term and long-term HIV risk behavior among youth in high-income countries.
Editors' Summary
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, is most often spread through unprotected sex (vaginal, oral, or anal) with an infected partner. Individuals can reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV by abstaining from sex or delaying first sex, by being faithful to one partner or having few partners, and by always using a male or female condom. Various HIV prevention programs targeted at young people encourage these protective sexual behaviors. Abstinence-only programs (for example, Project Reality in the US) present no sex before marriage as the only means of reducing the risk of catching HIV. Abstinence-plus programs (for example, the UK Apause program) also promote sexual abstinence as the safest behavior choice to prevent HIV infection. However, recognizing that not everyone will remain abstinent, and that in many locations same-sex couples are not permitted to marry, abstinence-plus programs also encourage young people who do become sexually active to use condoms and other safer-sex strategies. Safer-sex programs, a third approach, teach people how to protect themselves from pregnancy and infections and might recommend delaying first sex until they are physically and emotionally ready, but do not promote sexual abstinence over safer-sex strategies such as condom use.
Why Was This Study Done?
There is considerable controversy, particularly in the US, about the relative merits of abstinence-based programs for HIV prevention. Abstinence-only programs, which the US government supports, have been criticized because they provide no information to protect participants who do become sexually active. Critics of abstinence-plus programs contend that teaching young people about safer sex undermines the abstinence message, confuses participants, and may encourage them to become sexually active. Conversely, some people worry that the promotion of abstinence might undermine the safer-sex messages of abstinence-plus programs. Little has been done, however, to look methodically at how these programs change sexual behavior. In this study, the researchers have systematically reviewed studies of abstinence-plus interventions for HIV prevention in high-income countries to get an idea of their effect on sexual behavior.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In an extensive search for existing abstinence-plus studies, the researchers identified 39 trials done in high-income countries that compared the effects on sexual behavior of various abstinence-plus programs with the effects of no intervention or of other interventions designed to prevent HIV infection. All the trials met strict preset criteria (for example, trial participants had to have an unknown or negative HIV status), and all studies meeting the criteria turned out to involve young people in the US, Canada, or the Bahamas, nearly 40,000 participants in total. In 23 of the trials, the abstinence-plus program studied was found to improve at least one self-reported protective sexual behavior (for example, it increased abstinence or condom use) when compared to the other interventions in the trial; none of the trials reported a significant negative effect on any behavioral outcome. Limited evidence from a few trials indicated that some abstinence-plus programs reduced pregnancy rates, providing a biological indicator of program effectiveness. Conversely, there were no indications of adverse biological outcomes such as an increased occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases in any of the trials.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that some abstinence-plus programs reduce HIV risk behavior among young people in North America. Importantly, the findings do not uncover evidence of any abstinence-plus program causing harm. That is, fears that these programs might encourage young people to become sexually active earlier or confuse them about the use of condoms for HIV prevention seem unfounded. These findings may not apply to all abstinence-plus programs in high-income countries, do not include low-income countries, do not specifically address nonheterosexual risk behavior, and are subject to limited reliability in self-reporting of sexual activity by young people. Nonetheless, this analysis provides support for the use of abstinence-plus programs, particularly in light of another systematic review by the same authors (A systematic review of abstinence-only programs for prevention of HIV infection, published in the British Medical Journal), which found that abstinence-only programs did not reduce pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, or sexual behaviors that increase HIV risk. Abstinence-plus programs, these findings suggest, represent a reasonable strategy for HIV prevention among young people in high-income countries.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
• US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases fact sheet on HIV infection and AIDS
• Information from the UK charity AVERT on all aspects of HIV and AIDS, including HIV and AIDS prevention
• US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet on HIV/AIDS among young people (in English and Spanish)
• Information on Project Reality, a US abstinence-only program
• Information on Reducing the Risk and on Apause, US and UK abstinence-plus programs, respectively
PMCID: PMC1976624  PMID: 17880259
21.  Sexual dysfunction in married women with Systemic Sclerosis 
Sexuality is an often neglected area in patients with rheumatic disease. The aim of this study is to assess sexual functioning and quality of life in a group of married women with Systemic Sclerosis (SSc).
This is a horizontal study for descriptive and analytical purposes. Married women with SSc were interviewed about their sexual functioning and their quality of life.
A total of ten patients who met the criteria have accepted to participate to the study. Their mean age was 52, 4± 8,2 years. Eight women thought that the disease had affected their sexual activity. All patients reported a decrease in the frequency of intercourse since the onset of their disease. Eight of the sample reported a diminished desire for a sexual relationship. The reasons were fatigue, altered body image and pain. The assessment of sexual functioning using the Female sexual function index (FSFI) showed a mean FSFI score at 14,2±7,8 with nine women scoring in the range associated with sexual dysfunction (SD) (<26). All the subscales were affected. Our patients reported a mean total score on WHOQOL-brief (World Health Quality of Life-Brief Version) of 60 out of 120 indicating a moderate altered quality of life. Depression has been identified as determinants of impaired sexual function.
The prevalence of SD in women with SSc is high when a specific questionnaire is used to assess it. These results indicate that in daily practice, inquiring about sexuality and screening for depressive symptoms is indicated for every patient with SSc.
PMCID: PMC4247730  PMID: 25452828
Systemic sclerosis; sexual function; quality of life
22.  Transition Stages in Adjustment of Wives With Their Husbands’ Erectile Dysfunction 
No study has been conducted yet on the process of adjustment of wives with their husbands’ erectile dysfunction in the transitional stages, and there is lack of understanding of this process in Iran.
A qualitative, grounded-theory study was designed to examine the process of adjustment of wives with their husbands’ erectile dysfunction in transitional stages.
Materials and Methods:
Purposive sampling was carried out in Tehran, Iran. Data collection occurred until the theoretical saturation was reached. A total of 16 semi structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 15 woman participants. The constant comparative method of data analysis was used.
The women were 29-53 years old and duration of marriage was 2-40 years. They had different educational status ranging from Illiterate to Master’s degree. The present study showed the process of adjustment of wives with husbands’ erectile dysfunction in categories of husband broken role, ups and downs in woman’s sexual life, passing through failure, and end of transition. Following erectile dysfunction (event) and the man’s reaction, broken role occurs (change). In response to this change, reactions due to loss of intimacy occur in the ups and downs of woman’s life. Some women, unable to get through the failure, continue low quality life with sexual and communicational problems (limbo). By the end of transition, some women manage to overcome this unpleasant state of limbo, and begin to experience a new life, with increased intimacy, with or without sexual intercourse (new beginning).
If the process of transitional adjustment occurs in women, it will be effective in improving the relationship and increased intimacy, even sexual intimacy. With this understanding, better counseling and therapeutic interventions can be planned for these couples.
PMCID: PMC4005452  PMID: 24829790
Erectile Dysfunction; Sexual Behavior; Population Dynamics; Family Characteristics
23.  Traditional values of virginity and sexual behaviour in rural Ethiopian youth: results from a cross-sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:9.
Delaying sexual initiation has been promoted as one of the methods of decreasing risks of HIV among young people. In traditional countries, such as Ethiopia, retaining virginity until marriage is the norm. However, no one has examined the impact of this traditional norm on sexual behaviour and risk of HIV in marriage. This study examined the effect of virginity norm on having sex before marriage and sexual behaviour after marriage among rural Ethiopian youth.
We did a cross-sectional survey in 9 rural and 1 urban area using a probabilistic sample of 3,743 youth, 15–24 years of age. Univariate analysis was used to assess associations between virginity norm and gender stratified by area, and between sexual behaviour and marital status. We applied Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analysis to estimate age at sexual debut and assessed the predictors of premarital sex among the never-married using SPSS.
We found that maintaining virginity is still a way of securing marriage for girls, especially in rural areas; the odds of belief and intention to marry a virgin among boys was 3–4 times higher among rural young males. As age increased, the likelihood of remaining a virgin decreased. There was no significant difference between married and unmarried young people in terms of number of partners and visiting commercial sex workers. Married men were twice more likely to have multiple sexual partners than their female counterparts. A Cox regression show that those who did not believe in traditional values of preserving virginity (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] = 2.91 [1.92–4.40]), alcohol drinkers (AHR = 2.91 [1.97–4.29]), Khat chewers (AHR = 2.36 [1.45–3.85]), literates (AHR = 18.01 [4.34–74.42]), and the older age group (AHR = 1.85 [1.19–2.91]) were more likely to have premarital sex than their counterparts.
Although virginity norms help delay age at sexual debut among rural Ethiopian youth, and thus reduces vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections and HIV infection, vulnerability among females may increase after marriage due to unprotected multiple risky sexual behaviours by spouses. The use of preventive services, such as VCT before marriage and condom use in marriage should be part of the HIV/AIDS prevention and control strategies.
PMCID: PMC2254614  PMID: 18184425
24.  Gender context of sexual violence and HIV sexual risk behaviors among married women in Iringa Region, Tanzania 
Global Health Action  2014;7:10.3402/gha.v7.25346.
There is a dearth of empirical research illuminating possible connections between gender imbalances and sexual violence among married women in Tanzania. There is a need to generate in-depth information on the connectivity between gender imbalances (asymmetrical resource ownership, sexual decision making, roles, and norms) and sexual violence plus associated HIV risky sexual behavior among married women.
This paper is based on a qualitative case study that involved use of focus group discussions (FGDs). A thematic analysis approach was used in analyzing the study findings.
The study findings are presented under the three structures of gender and power theory. On sexual division of labor, our study found that economic powerlessness exposes women to sexual violence.
On sexual division of power, our study found that perception of the man as a more powerful partner in marriage is enhanced by the biased marriage arrangement and alcohol consumption.
On cathexis, this study has revealed that because of societal norms and expectations regarding women's sexual behavior characterized by their sexual and emotional attachments to men, women find it hard to leave sexually abusive marriages. That is, because of societal expectations of obedience and compelled tolerance many married women do suffer in silence. They find themselves trapped in marriages that increase their risk of acquiring HIV.
This study suggests that married women experience a sexual risk of acquiring HIV that results from non-consensual sex. That non-consensual sex is a function of gender imbalances – ranging from women's economic dependence on their husbands or partners to socioculturally rooted norms and expectations regarding women's sexual behavior. The HIV risk is especially heightened because masculine sexual norms encourage men [husbands/partners] to engage in unprotected intra- and extramarital sex. It is recommended that the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) should address the gender dimensions of sexual violence in marriage.
PMCID: PMC4260407  PMID: 25491040
Gender; sexual violence; HIV; sexual risk; married women
25.  Problem Drinking among Married Men in India: Comparison between husband’s and wife’s reports 
Drug and alcohol review  2010;29(5):557-562.
Introduction and Aims
This study compared the husband’s report, and wife’s report of her husband’s problem drinking, among residents of an urban slum in Bangalore, India.
Design and Methods
The data come from a feasibility study to prevent HIV infection among at risk women in Bangalore. Household enumeration was carried out (N=509) to choose 100 married men between 18 and 50 years who reported problem drinking (scores 8 and above) on the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT). Wives of these married men, considered to be at risk for HIV because of their husband’s hazardous drinking, were subsequently recruited for the study (N=100). Written informed consent was obtained; wives were asked about the drinking history of their husband’s through the AUDIT-WR (Wife’s Report) developed for the present study.
Prevalence of problem drinking in the enumerated sample (N=509) was high (N=186; 37%). The husband’s report and his wife’s report of his problem drinking was concordant (r=0.57–0.75) on eight out of ten items, and the total AUDIT score.
Discussion and Conclusions
The AUDIT-WR is a reliable and culturally relevant measure of husband’s problem drinking. In India, men with problem drinking are hard to reach. Therefore, proxy report of the wife may be useful when the husband is either unavailable or uncooperative for assessment.
PMCID: PMC2951296  PMID: 20887581
Alcohol; AUDIT; HIV; Community Based Prevention; India

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