Research Programme

Partnerships and sexual behaviour in the era of ART in South Africa

Coordinated by Professor Nuala McGrath

This project is funded through a Wellcome Trust Fellowship.


Project summary

This research project explores sexual behaviour and relationship dynamics in the era of antiretroviral therapy (ART) rollout in South Africa. Using both primary and secondary data the project a series of studies are undertaken;

  • A prospective clinic study of HIV-infected people to compare rates of partnership change and patterns of sexual behaviour between two groups; those on ART vs those not yet eligible for ART. 
  • Analyses of longitudinal data collected as part of the Africa Centre HIV surveillance to examine the impact of ART on sexual behaviours.
  • A cross-sectional survey investigating living arrangements, partnership patterns and sexual behaviour of migrants. 

For more information see the Africa Centre website.


Project activities

Date Activity Description
13-15 November 2017 Presentations of papers authored/co-authored by Nuala McGrath and vicky Hosegood at the AIDS Conference 2017 held in Cape Town, South Africa. Papers presented include: "The impact of early ART initiation on HIV disclosure and social support among people living with HIV and followed within a universal test and treat programme in rural South Africa (ANRS 12249 TasP trial)", "Do fertility intentions predict future fertility among adults in an HIV care programme? A cohort study in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa", "Side effects among persons using antiretroviral treatment are associated with an increased risk of concurrent usage of multiple sources of healthcare: A prospective observational cohort study", "Reproductive tract infections among young people at risk for HIV acquisition: Results from a population-based survey among young people in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa", "Perceptions of the immediate social context of HIV risk behaviour", and "“It doesn’t help to run away” - HIV counselling and testing experiences of people living with HIV in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: A formative qualitative study".
18-22 July 2016 Presentations of papers authored/co-authored by Nuala McGrath and vicky Hosegood at the AIDS Conference 2016 held in Durban, South Africa.

Papers presented include: "Positive impact of a randomized controlled trial of the Uthando Lwethu ("Our Love") intervention on rates of couples HIV testing in rural South Africa", "Baseline for a DREAM: recent trends in sexual behaviour and HIV knowledge among adolescents and young adults in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa", "HIV testing models and their implications for patient engagement with HIV care and treatment on the eve of "test and treat" findings from the Bottlenecks study" and "Exploring participants' understanding and concerns relating to questions about anal sex in a rural KwaZulu-Natal setting: a cognitive interviewing approach."




Lessels, R.J., Cooke, G.S., McGrath, N., Nicol, M.P., Newell, M. and Godfrey-Fausett, P. (2017) Impact of Point-of-care Xpert MTB/RIF on Tuberculosis Treatment Initiation: A Cluster Randomised Trial. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, (Online First View).

McGrath, N. and Grapsa, E. (2017) Does ART change partnership dynamics and HIV risk behaviours among PLWH? A cohort study in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. AIDS, (Online First View).

By clicking on the link you can browse all CPC publications.


Media activities

You can browse all CPC media outputs and population-related articles from CPC members on our! page.