Serodiscordant

Serodiscordant

[seer-oh-dis-kawr-dnt]
Serodiscordant (sero-discordant) is a term used to describe a couple in which one partner is HIV positive and the other is HIV negative. Serodiscordant relationships are also referred to as "magnetic". Seroconcordant is the term used to describe a couple in which both partners are of the same HIV status (ie both are HIV positive or both are HIV negative).

Serodiscordant couples face numerous issues not faced by seroconcordant couples, including facing a decision 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.

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.

Experts have no way to count how many American couples with HIV want to conceive children - but they guess the number is in the thousands. And researchers report a growing stream of calls from these couples wanting reproductive help. The Special Program of Assisted Reproduction was developed in 1996 to help serodiscordant couples conceive safely. However, the program is only designed to help couples where the male partner is infected, not the female partner.

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