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A serodiscordant relationship, also known as mixed-status, is one where one partner is infected by HIV and the other is not.[1][needs update] This contrasts with seroconcordant relationships, in which both partners are of the same HIV status. Serodiscordancy contributes to the spread of HIV/AIDS, particularly in Sub-Saharan nations such as Lesotho.[2]

Serodiscordant couples face numerous issues not faced by seroconcordant couples, including decisions as to what level of sexual activity is comfortable for them, knowing that practicing safer sex reduces but does not eliminate the risk of transmission to the HIV-negative partner. There are also potential psychological issues arising out of taking care of a sick partner, and survivor guilt. Financial strains may also be more accentuated as one partner becomes ill and potentially less able or unable to work.[citation needed]

Research involving serodiscordant couples has offered insights into how the virus is passed and how individuals who are HIV positive may be able to reduce the risk of passing the virus to their partner.[3]

Experts predict that there are thousands of serodiscordant couples in the US who wish to have children,[citation needed] and researchers report a growing stream of calls from these couples wanting reproductive help.[medical citation needed] The Special Program of Assisted Reproduction was developed in 1996 to help serodiscordant couples conceive safely, however, it is solely designed to help couples where the male partner is infected. WHO 2013 guidelines for starting assisted reproduction technology now consider all serodiscordant couples for treatment.[clarification needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (Smith, Raymond. "Couples". Retrieved 8 August 2006.)
  2. ^ Makwe, Christian C., and Osato F. Giwa-Osagie. “Sexual and Reproductive Health in HIV Serodiscordant Couples.” African Journal of Reproductive Health / La Revue Africaine De La Santé Reproductive, vol. 17, no. 4, 2013, pp. 99–106. JSTOR, JSTOR,
  3. ^ Grace Kimemia G (June 2019). "Perceptions of pregnancy occurring among HIV-serodiscordant couples in Kenya". Reproductive Health. 16 (85): 85. doi:10.1186/s12978-019-0751-4. PMC 6582525. PMID 31215447.