AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 499–503 | Cite as

The Effect of Partner Serostatus and Relationship Duration on HIV Medication Adherence

  • Luke D. MitzelEmail author
  • Laura E. VanderDrift
  • Michael Ioerger
  • Peter A. Vanable
Original Paper


High adherence rates to antiretroviral medications are necessary for people living with HIV/AIDS. The current study focuses on relationship-level predictors of HIV medication adherence by testing whether adherence rates differ by dyadic serostatus (seroconcordant vs. serodiscordant couples) among individuals with HIV in romantic relationships. Results showed a significant interaction between dyadic serostatus and relationship duration on adherence, such that individuals in long-term serodiscordant relationships reported better adherence than short-term serodiscordant relationships or seroconcordant partners in long-term relationships. Future research is needed to understand what relationship dynamics explain differences in adherence rates based on dyadic serostatus.


HIV Serostatus Medication adherence Couples Romantic relationships 



This study was supported by the Syracuse University College of Arts and Sciences using research funds for Laura E. VanderDrift.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Syracuse University research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


  1. 1.
    Gunthard HF, Saag MS, Benson CA, del Rio C, Eron JJ, Gallant JE, Volberding PA. Antiretroviral drugs for treatment and prevention of HIV infection in adults: 2016 recommendations of the International Antiviral Society-USA Panel. JAMA. 2016;316(2):191–210. Scholar
  2. 2.
    Darbes LA, Chakravarty D, Neilands TB, Beougher SC, Hoff CC. Sexual risk for HIV among gay male couples: a longitudinal study of the impact of relationship dynamics. Arch Sex Behav. 2014;43:47–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hoff CC, Gomez C, Faigeles B, Purcell DW, Halkitis PN, Parsons JT, Remien RH. Serostatus of primary partner impacts sexual behavior inside and outside the relationship. J Psychol Hum Sex. 2005;16(4):77–95. Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gamarel KE, Neilands TB, Dilworth SE, Taylor JM, Johnson MO. Smoking, internalized heterosexism, and HIV disease management among male couples. AIDS Care. 2015;27(5):649–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Knowlton AR, Yang C, Bohnert A, Wissow L, Chandler G, Arnsten JA. Main partner factors associated with worse adherence to HAART among women in Baltimore, Maryland: a preliminary study. AIDS Care. 2011;23:1102–10. Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kumarasamy N, Venkatesh KK, Srikrishnan AK, Prasad L, Balakrishnan P, Murugavel KG, Mayer KH. Couples at risk for HIV infection in Southern India: characteristics of HIV-infected patients in concordant and discordant heterosexual relationships. Int J STD AIDS. 2010;21:96–100. Scholar
  7. 7.
    Goldenberg T, Clarke D, Stephenson R. “Working together to reach a goal”: MSM’s perceptions of dyadic HIV care for same-sex male couples. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2013;64:S52–61. Scholar
  8. 8.
    Halkitis PN, Wilton L, Parsons JT, Hoff C. Correlates of sexual risk-taking behaviour among HIV seropositive gay men in concordant primary partner relationships. Psychol Health Med. 2004;9:99–113. Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kalichman SC, Eaton L, White D, Cherry C, Pope H, Cain D, Kalichman MO. Beliefs about treatments for HIV/AIDS and sexual risk behaviors among men who have sex with men, 1997–2006. J Behav Med. 2007;30:497–503. Scholar
  10. 10.
    Crepaz N, Hart TA, Marks G. Highly active antiretroviral therapy and sexual risk behavior: a meta-analytic review. JAMA. 2004;292:224–36. Scholar
  11. 11.
    Joseph HA, Flores SA, Parsons JT, Purcell DW. Beliefs about transmission risk and vulnerability, treatment adherence, and sexual risk behavior among a sample of HIV-positive men who have sex with men. AIDS Care. 2010;22:29–39. Scholar
  12. 12.
    Parsons JT, VanOra J, Missildine W, Purcell DW, Gomez CA. Positive and negative consequences of HIV disclosure among seropositive injection drug users. AIDS Educ Prev. 2004;16:459–75. Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mepham S, Zondi Z, Mbuyazi A, Mkhwanazi N, Newell ML. Challenges in PMTCT antiretroviral adherence in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. AIDS Care. 2011;23:741–7. Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fair C, Albright J. “Don’t tell him you have HIV unless he’s ‘the one’”: romantic relationships among adolescents and young adults with perinatal HIV infection. AIDS Patient Care STDs. 2012;26(12):746–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Genet M, Sebsibie G, Gultie T. Disclosure of HIV seropositive status to sexual partners and its associated factors among patients attending antiretroviral treatment clinic follow up at Mekelle Hospital, Ethiopia: a cross sectional study. BMC Res Notes. 2015;8:109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wieselquist J, Rusbult CE, Foster CA, Agnew CR. Commitment, pro-relationship behavior, and trust in close relationships. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1999;77:942–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Justice AC, Holmes W, Gifford AL, Rabeneck L, Zackin R, Sinclair G, Weissman S, Neidig J, Marcus C, Chesney M, Wu AW, Adult AIDS. Clinical Trials Unit Outcomes Committee. Development and validation of a self-completed HIV symptom index. J Clin Epidemiol. 2001;54(Suppl 1):S77–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Preacher KJ, Curran PJ, Bauer DJ. Computational tools for probing interaction effects in multiple linear regression, multilevel modeling, and latent curve analysis. J Educ Behav Stat. 2006;31:437–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Theodore PS, Duran RE, Antoni MH, Fernandez MI. Intimacy and sexual behavior among HIV-positive men-who-have-sex-with-men in primary relationships. AIDS Behav. 2004;8:321–31. Scholar
  20. 20.
    Tan JY, Pollack L, Rebchook G, Peterson J, Huebner D, Eke A, Johnson W, Kegeles S. The role of the primary romantic relationship in HIV care engagement outcomes among young HIV-positive black men who have sex with men. AIDS Behav. 2018. Scholar
  21. 21.
    VanderDrift LE, Ioerger M, Mitzel LD, Vanable PA. Partner support, willingness to sacrifice, and HIV medication self-efficacy. AIDS Behav. 2017;21:2519–25. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luke D. Mitzel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura E. VanderDrift
    • 1
  • Michael Ioerger
    • 1
  • Peter A. Vanable
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

Personalised recommendations