HIV discordance among couples is a situation in which one partner is HIV positive and the other negative. Among married or cohabiting couples in the general population in rural Uganda, 5–7% were estimated to be HIV sero- discordant according to the HIV/AIDS Sero- Behavioral Survey 2004–2005.
Since 2005, Reach Out Mbuya has registered a total of 292 discordant couples and has engaged them in various trainings to help them better understand and accept discordance. The trainings aim at creating awareness of HIV discordance and letting them know that they are not alone, while creating a peer support program for the couples.
For these couples, ROM conducts a 3-month modular risk reduction training aimed at preventing HIV transmission to the negative partner and children in the event of pregnancy. ROM also conducts an annual discordant couples meeting to strengthen support and adherence for this group. In 2015, 508 home visits were also made to 166 discordant couples by community health workers.
The trainings includes modules like; Importance of communication in discordant relationships, ART and the importance of supporting the positive partner on treatment, risk reduction measures to the negative partner, dangers of alcohol, as well as family planning and PMTCT.